Cougars advance to provincials as Bighorns forfeit playoff game

The Penticton Cougars (2-6) are going to provincials, but not the way they wanted.

The Penticton Cougars (2-6) are going to provincials, but not the way they wanted.

Ready to face the Columbia Valley (Invermere) Bighorns (6-2) in Invermere on Nov. 6, Cougars coach Terence Westera was disappointed that the Bighorns were forced to forfeit.

The Bighorns had their usual set of referees, but they were not certified.

“Last time we were there they pretty much had parents out of the stands (officiating),” said Westera. “It was a very one-sided game (the Bighorns won 28-7). A bunch of players got hurt. Four players suffered head injuries and one went to the hospital. It wasn’t a very safe game. I made myself very clear that they had to have certified officials because we had to.”

Before the game, Westera approached the officials and asked for their certificates. None were able to provide papers.

“We have a local referee crew which is basketball referees,” Bighorns coach Bruce Marlow told the Columbia Valley Echo. “I have been very fortunate to have these guys ref all season long.

“They were all at the game when it started,” he continued. “Penticton decided that if we did not have certified football referees, they did not want to play.League referees were requested once we knew we would be hosting our first playoff game in Invermere. We were unable to get the refs from the Okanagan so we had to go with our referees.”

Next up are the Vernon Magnums in the B.C. Nine-Man Midget Championships Saturday (3 p.m.) at Thompson Rivers University Hillside Stadium in Kamloops. Westera remains confident his squad can win despite not having won any of the regular season matches. The Magnums won the last game 35-12.

“The only reason that we lost is because they had a large roster of 40 kids,” he said. “We had 21. Players just got worn down. In provincials they can only use 25 players. I think that will go in our favour big time. We had them on the ropes for the first two quarters.”

In practice, the Cougars will focus on blocking and outside containment of the Magnums running game.

“They are big and strong obviously,” he said. “We have always kind of had a small team so we’re used to that now. They are really good at running the ball, especially in the middle and onto the outside. They are good at blocking. I’m not worried about their passing game whatsoever. We have played them twice now and it’s a non-issue. I think we have picked them off five or six times over two games.”

The championship game between the Magnums and Cougars can be watched online at


Just Posted

The Eyes of the Tigers on the 2021 Beer Rune on June 19. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton Beer Runners take trip around local beaches and brews

Over 160 people signed up to come back after the 2020 run was cancelled

There was high voter turnout for the first of three advance voting days for the Penticton city by-election.
Penticton city by-election general voting day is today, June 19

737 voters on June 9 in comparison to 2018 general election, which had 1,001 on first day

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 Penticton-area men charged with Kamloops brothers’ double homicide

Brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May in Naramata

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Starting in 2022, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District is extending dog control to the entire Electoral Area D. (Stock photo)
Dog control bylaw passes in Shuswap area despite ‘threatening’ emails

CSRD board extending full dog control in Electoral Area D starting next year

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read