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PHOTOS: High school football is back in Coquitlam

Friday's high school football game between the Centennial Centaurs and Mt. Douglas Rams was only a pre-season scrimmage. But for players and coaches on both teams, it was their first chance to line up opposite an opponent in almost two years.

The Centennial Centaurs senior varsity football team lost 19-13 to the Mt. Douglas Rams on Friday.

But for the players to be on the field at Centennial secondary school playing a competitive scrimmage against an opponent for the first time in almost two years felt like a win for everyone involved, said Centaurs coach Dino Geremia.

After being allowed to do little more than practice since spring, 2020, because of public health restrictions to limit transmission of COVID-19, Geremia said Friday’s pre-season game was an opportunity for players to finally put into motion the schemes they’d been working on and for coaches to evaluate their progress.

“I was extremely proud of our players,” Geremia said. “While we have much to work on, we can approach the rest of the season with optimism.”

Some of that optimism comes from Grade 11 quarterback Malcolm Cameron, who showed in his first start for the senior team that he has what it takes to lead the Centaurs’ offence. Running back Ziad Sabry also had a dominant performance, gaining the bulk of Centennial’s yardage on the ground.

Geremia said the team has shown great resilience through the 20 months they haven’t been able to play games, strengthening their bond as a unit that was able to equate itself against one of the strongest programs in the province.

“We have to look at each other and know we are stronger,” he said.

• Centennial will play Notre Dame on Friday, 7:30 p.m., at Burnaby Lake Sports Complex West. The Terry Fox Ravens host Earl Marriott on Friday, 7 p.m., at Percy Perry Stadium.

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