Alumni from the ’92 Championship team were on hand to witness the renaming of Mouat Field to Latham Field, after former principal, Jim Latham. The following speech was delievered at the ceremony Friday night. Freddy Latham, Jim’s wife and Stephen Latham, Jim’s son were on hand for the ceremony.
The 1992 Season for W.J. Mouat Football was anything but easy. While the team scored victories against St. Thomas More, Steveston, Handsworth, Centennial, and Abby Senior, it also included early season ties to West Vancouver and Richmond, as well as regular season losses to Vancouver College and Kamloops. These losses meant a difficult playoff road. First up was the dynasty that was Notre Dame and powerhouse Richmond High. The Hawks scored huge wins over their first playoff opponents, which set up a final against the alma mater to Head Coach Denis Kelly, the Vancouver College Fighting Irish. Despite an earlier loss to these same Fighting Irish, the Hawks came out determined, stunning the Fighting Irish crowd with a 27-12 victory. Andrew Hall was named Championship game MVP, Darren Rowell as Outstanding Back, and Ryan Rochon Outstanding Lineman.
The ’92 Team would be the first of several other provincial football championships earned by the Hawks, along with the 2002 and 2005 Varsity Championships, and the 2001 and 2008 Junior Varsity Championships.
And none of these championships, or the rest of the great history of Mouat Football, would have been possible without the vision of Jim Latham. Jim Latham became our school’s principal in 1985. At that time, football did not exist at W.J. Mouat. Jim was a firm believer in offering individualized educational experiences for students, and was responsible for establishing programs to enable these opportunities, including the football program in 1987. Jim Latham also understood the importance of teacher coaches in establishing programs, and, as such, was responsible for hiring many, including football coaches Denis Kelly, Geoff Davies, Rob Comeau, and Jim Mitchell, just to name a few. These teacher coaches helped to create the stability that was necessary to establish a sustainable and healthy football program that continues to offer a great opportunity to our community’s teenagers 31 years after its creation.
Because of Jim’s vision and efforts, tonight we are honoured to reveal the re-naming of Mouat Field to Latham Field, so that Jim’s legacy will forever be cemented in our community.