Story and Images by Erich Eichhorn (ISN)
June 1, 2014 Langford, BC (ISN) – Westshore Rebels finalized player commitments Sunday at Goudy Field during the CJFL National Signing Day.
Freshman QB Kaleb Lee signs his commitment to the Westshore Rebels organization with President Elise Pastro and Coach Axhorn in attendance Sunday at Goudy Field – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
The Canadian Junior Football League set aside June 1st as the day that teams across the country can officially sign players to team rosters in hopes of becoming one of two teams to meet in the Canadian Bowl Final held this year in British Columbia.
Rebels veteran Chris Pastro signs on the dotted line to start is final year eligiblity as Coach Axhorn looks on – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
For the Rebels, Signing Day takes on a special importance this year as the team looks to local, upcoming football talent and their veterans to help take the organization through the often-difficult task of rebuilding a competitive, cohesive team. For those players committing to the red and white, it is a two year signing if they make the 65 man roster declaration deadline held September 15th.
The CJFL National Signing Day took place Sunday for teams across Canada. The Westshore Rebels gathered amongst family and fans at Goudy Field – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
One of the helm masters, freshman quarterback, Kaleb Lee was the first to put his name on the dotted line Sunday for the aspiring, young Rebel team. Lee, a local product of the Victoria Spartans and Belmont Bulldogs, couldn’t be more enthusiastic about signing with the Rebels organization and his team’s upcoming season. In signing with the team, Lee would comment about his decision to decline a scholarship offer and stay local. “ I like the local atmosphere and the energy of the team. I’ve played with everyone (on the team). I think this team is way better than last year’s team. I think we have a shot at winning the whole thing”. With a Westshore Rebel work ethic already instilled upon himself, Lee can’t wait to get to work. When asked about his commitment to the team Lee would comment, “ I love it. To be here everyday working my butt off… it’s going to be fun”.
Young fans lined up for a chance to win Rebels game tickets after their league action supported by players from the Westshore Rebels team – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
A young Sooke Seahawk fan gets his picture with some of the 2014 Rebels team after he was picked by Chris Pastro as the most impressive player on the field during GVMFA football action Sunday- Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
In a rebuilding year it would be easy for many players to otherwise commit to teams elsewhere, but that is not the case for the Westshore Rebels. Thanks in part to the minor football league programs around the South Island, and individual belief in the team, the Rebels will have a full roster says Coach Axhorn. “It starts in belief. That’s the first thing I instilled, especially with the new guys. It starts with the veterans, and then the new players. That’s the foundation you build on. When we get all the players on the field, we will have 50-60 guys. These guys are all really excited to play ball. It’s going to be a good season this year”.
The Westshore Rebels will start their 2014 campaign in Kamloops on July 26th, and return for their first home game on Military Appreciation Day August 2nd against the rival Vancouver Island Raiders.