Coach readies for Shrum showdown

by Bruce Mason
Staff writer

It's not his first Shrum Bowl but UBC football coach Jay Prepchuk is still pumped.

The Thunderbirds will meet cross-town rivals, the SFU Clan, for the 22nd time Oct. 2 and the score is tied at 10-10-1. The kickoff is 7 p.m. at Burnaby's Swangard Stadium.

Prepchuk, in his first season as UBC head coach, recalls other Shrum Bowls, especially 1980 when SFU trounced UBC 30-3. He was on the other side, SFU's quarter-back and the game's most valuable player, well on his way to establishing records that still stand on Burnaby Mountain.

"It's exciting to play SFU for myself and the players," he says. "It's a big event. Pride and a rivalry are involved and the outcome reflects on our program."

Prepchuk will face his former coach Chris Beaton and although UBC will have to adjust to American rules to play SFU, the team won't have any excuses, he says.

Much as he would like to win against his alma mater, it's an exhibition game and bragging rights, not points, are at stake.

Prepchuk's primary focus is UBC's regular season. UBC is ranked fifth in the Canadian Inter-university Athletic Union (CIAU) top ten with a 3-1 record. He says UBC's football team is improving with each game but still hasn't reached its full potential. And he hopes the university community will come out and support the team in home games against top-ranked Manitoba Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. at Thunderbird Stadium and defending national champions, Saskatchewan Oct. 15 at 7 p.m.

Another UBC tradition, the Father Bauer Classic takes place Oct 8 at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Oct. 10 at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the Winter Sports Centre.

The Father Bauer Classic is an annual UBC hockey tournament featuring the Thunderbirds and teams from Canadian universities. Playing this year are the University of Calgary, the University of Regina and York University.

Varsity athletes are prepared to generate excitement on campus and across the country in the weeks ahead. For information on upcoming events, scores and ticket prices, call the 24-hour T-Bird line at 604-822-BIRD (822-2473).