On October 22nd, 2021, the Notre Dame Jugglers varsity football team played their first game on the recently christened Juggler Field.
Feature image by Brian Briones
By | Strachan Liberman
The pouring rain subdued just before kickoff as if Mother Nature herself was watching the Jugglers as they walked onto the field for the first time. The field, which had been used exclusively for practice for months as the school waited for the protective padding to come in, was ready to host its first-ever game.
In that time, Notre Dame had earned themselves a 7-0 record, with an offence that had a mix of high flying pass plays, and ground and pound run plays reminiscent of Juggler teams of the past. The Jugger’s defence was also stellar, and has only allowed seven points all season.
The atmosphere was incredible, as decades of alumni gathered to watch the game versus the New Westminster Hyacks. The energy was electric, as the patrons in the stands watched the undefeated Jugglers play on the field that had been promised to the students of Notre Dame for over 20 years. It was worth the wait.
It might have been the excitement of the field’s unveiling, or perhaps just nerves, but the Jugglers got off to a sloppy start, giving up the first point of Juggler field after a muffed punt led to the Hyacks making a field goal.
However, thanks to the leadership of coaches George Oswald (OC), Jordan Liberman (DC), and Denis Kelly (HC) and captains Massimo Ryan, Pedro Cabanas, Aiden Thomas, and Aiden Domino the Jugglers were able to rally on a 40-6 scoring run, giving the varsity team their first win on Juggler Field.
Standout performances from players like Massimo Ryan, who was able to rack up nearly three hundred total yards of offence, and Aiden Thomas, who had over a dozen tackles, helped the Jugglers secure the win over a talented New West team.
Every player on the team knew that this game would be one that goes down in the school’s history, and the preparation reflected that. From the first practice to the end of the game, the Jugglers were locked in all week.
The team knew how important it was for so many people at that school, perhaps no more than Coach Geroge Oswald, who had been a part of the program for decades and would happen to be celebrating his 75th birthday at the first game on Juggler Field.
Coach Oswald had been a large part of not only the football team but the Notre Dame community in general, and as he celebrated with the team after the win as they took the first picture of the whole team on the field, with the scoreboard in the background displaying the 40-9 score in bright lights, it seemed like a very fitting end to the day.
The Jugglers’ past, present, and future on the field altogether for the first of many memorable games to come.