TRURO, N.S. – On the road, in less-than-ideal conditions, and against a bigger and stronger opponent, the odds appeared to be stacked against the Truro Bluebombers.
Playing a Halifax team that towered over their rural Nova Scotia counterparts, the Bombers entered the 1977 provincial peewee football final as clear underdogs.
“The weather was awful,” remembers Scott Armstrong, who played defensive back for the ’77 Bombers. “It was freezing cold, and it was really windy and rainy and the field was slop.”
The Bombers were at a huge size disadvantage in the game, which was played at the Wanderers Grounds. The maximum playing weight at the time was 140 pounds with gear on. Most Truro players tipped the scales at less than 120 pounds, said Armstrong, while the majority of Halifax athletes were at the higher end of the scale.
“They were a lot bigger, and actually, before the game the Halifax parents approached our parents to see if we actually wanted to play,” said Armstrong. “It was great motivation for us. Trust me, we wanted to play.”
And it showed, as the Bombers gutted out a 3-2 victory to win provincial peewee crown.
On Friday, the Truro Minor Football Association will honour that championship team 40 years after it achieved provincial glory during Alumni Night festivities at the TAAC Grounds.
Bob Landsburg was an offensive and defensive lineman for the ’77 Bombers and remembers the team’s resilience in that final game.
“We made probably five or six goal-line stands, and they scored two single points, and then Steve MacDonald kicked a field goal – it hit the upright and bounced in,” Landsburg said.
The road to the 1977 title game was no cakewalk, ether. The Bombers had to win a six-team Truro league before defeating reigning champion Port Hawkesbury in a provincial semifinal.
The win over Halifax capped an undefeated season for the Bombers. It was also the first of two Truro titles won on that day, as the CEC Cougars followed suit and captured the provincial high school crown on the same Halifax turf.
“We were good luck, I guess,” laughed Landsburg.
Alumni Night has become a TMFA tradition. It recognizes the accomplishments of past teams, players, coaches, officials and others involved in the game locally.
“It’s a night of celebration of Truro minor football,” said alumni association president Anthony Purdy. “And what better way than honouring a team from 1977. It’s fabulous and it’s a great way to celebrate minor football.”
Armstrong said he and his teammates from the ’77 squad are honoured to receive recognition from the association.
“It’s great Truro minor football really celebrates its alumni, and every year they welcome back former players and coaches on Alumni Night to celebrate the past. You get to watch the games, and now it’s all about the future, so it’s a great way to unite the football community in Truro.”
Did you know?
Scott Cameron and Peter Winters, members of the 1977 provincial champion Truro Bluebombers, went on to successful university careers at Mount Allison in Sackville, N.B.
Both played in the 1984 Vanier Cup, which Mount A lost 22-13 to the Guelph Gryphons.
Cameron was named defensive MVP of that national championship game.
The Truro Bluebombers peewee team and Truro Freightliners bantam squad will hit the gridiron at the TAAC Grounds on Alumni Night for games against the Dartmouth Destroyers on Friday.
The peewee game gets underway at 6:30 p.m., followed by the bantam tilt at 8:30 p.m.
The 1977 N.S. peewee football champion Truro Bluebombers will be honoured between games.