To a teenager, there is nothing like hoisting a championship trophy that symbolizes a season's worth of hard work by a group of athletes and coaches.
Windsor's Herman Green Griffins scaled the summit of Ontario high school football on Tuesday by knocking off previously undefeated Brantford Assumption in the Western Bowl to wrap up a perfect season. The game was part of the OFSAA Bowl Series, a set of regional championship games annually held at Rogers Centre at Toronto.
Coach Harry Lumley's Griffins' playoff run was memorable enough for all their comeback victories<, but the 45-year coach and his players have another story to tell. They did not get to bring a trophy home.
From CTV London:
As reporter Bob Bellacicco found out, the Western Bowl trophy had not been returned by last year's "king of the 519," the London Lucas Vikings. So officials made do by presenting the Griffins with the trophy for the next game, the Metro Bowl championship (the game where Toronto mayor Rob Ford took it on the chins when Newmarket's Huron Heights soundly defeated his Don Bosco Eagles).
"We were lifting the trophy — we were just lifting the wrong trophy," Griffins quarterback Austin Lumley, who ran for one touchdown and passed to star running back Jaydon Gauthier for another in the win, told CTV London. "Then it got taken away and they told us it wasn't our trophy. That was pretty awkward."
"I figured we won the Metro Bowl and this one," Harry Lumley quipped, not sounding at all chuffed by it.
No doubt the Griffins will get the victors' spoils soon enough and it seems like they had a good laugh as a result of the football faux pas. It might mean they can be presented the Western Bowl trophy in front of their classmates and let the Herman school community share in it. That being said, the reward of a group accomplishment is having something that can felt only by the people who were directly involved. Getting a trophy to take home and keep for a year is part of it.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.