The Hamilton Hurricanes junior football team was formed in 1963 by a Committee of 30 former players. In 1972, the team had hired a new coach Fred Jazvac. He was a veteran of coaching in the Hamilton high school system. He recruited George Knill, Jim Ruddle and Doug Trimble to be his assistants.
The Hurricanes started the season with 27 rookies on a 41-man roster and players with different backgrounds and old high school rivalries which the coaches had to mould into a team. It definitely worked as the Hurricanes went through the regular season undefeated.
Jazvac made changes to strengthen the team’s running game and the Hurricanes scored four playoff wins to earn a berth in the Canadian junior championship in Saskatoon. An expensive trip, especially when it came to flying to Saskatchewan, the Hurricanes were allowed to attend a Tiger-Cats game to seek donations. The response from the fans was incredible.
The opponents in the national final were the two-time defending champion Regina Rams who were overwhelming picks to make it three straight titles in frigid conditions.
Coach Jazvac read a fistful of telegrams from back home, reminded his players of their Hamilton roots, adding the team didn’t go all that way to lose.
And they didn’t. In fact, the Hurricanes stunned the powerful Regina club, 33-8, to win the Leader Post Trophy.
The Rams would regain the title against Ottawa the following year, but they certainly had their hands full with a tough and resolute Hamilton squad in 1972.
When the Hurricanes returned home, they were bused to City Hall where Mayor Vic Copps and 5,000 others greeted the conquering heroes.