Grid Hyacks impress at spring jamboree

New Westminster high school varsity football team has more balance than last year, said head coach

The New Westminster Hyacks have found their pivot following a spring football jamboree in Washington State.

The varsity Hyacks scrimmaged against Burlington, Blaine and Mt. Baker high schools at Civic Field in Bellingham last Thursday.

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Jamie Shiho, who shared the quaterbacking duties with Mackenzie Ratcliffe last season, appears to be the heir apparent for the job after last week’s showing.

“(Shiho) threw the ball accurately and early, which was really encouraging and he ran hard,” said New West head coach Farhan Lalji.

Michael Thind is likely to be a key target for Shiho in the Hyack offensive scheme, while Jordan Guzman ran well for the Hyacks in the controlled scrimmages.

But it was important to find a go-to guy, who could lead the offence, said Lalji.

“Regardless of the offence we run the quarterback has to be the straw that stirs the drink.

“Jamie (Shiho) decided he wants it.”

On defence, Jeff Lugtu, an all-star at linebacker last season, will stack the middle with Marcel Wang and Gurvir Ghuman at the outside position.

Rochon Bhattacharya has likely locked down a starting position at corner back with his physical play.

Sunny Rishi and Dillon Cusker were among the best linemen in camp.

Losing four linemen to graduation this year, makes New West’s play at linebacker all the more important and a key to how well the defence can perform, said Lalji.

Next Sunday, the Hyacks will compete at the University of Washington 7 on 7 tournament.

The following week the varsity team will be off to Oregon for its annual team camp.

Summer workouts will also be a big part of the preparation for the upcoming season.

“We have more balance this year,” Farhan said. “We have more pieces … I think that will help us.”

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