May 7,2018 Langford, BC (ISN) – To many people, hearing the word “ camp” would associate the word being synonymous with visions of tenting, swimming at the lake, or maybe even around a camp fire relaxing, but to a select group young adult recruits it means the exact opposite of relaxing, getting a chance to demonstrate their football skills with aspirations of being a part of one of the most noted junior football programs in Canada over the last couple of years.
The British Columbia Football Conference’s Westshore Rebels football organization closed a spirited, successful weekend of football assessments at Westhills Stadium as 65-70 talented Rebel prospects from across Canada were put through drills and game scenarios with the hopes of landing a spot on the local Langford team for the 2018 season that starts August 4th in Langley.
After falling short of winning the provincial championship last year to the Vancouver Island Raiders in what Raider’s head coach Dave Hocking had reportedly denied was an upset, the Rebels coaching staff has had a busy offseason recruiting high-end players locally, as well as across Canada. Head Coach Charly Cardillichia, leaving no stone unturned, even held a player identification camp in Calgary, Alberta in an effort to find players with the right fit for his team.
Excited about what he saw on the field, last year’s BCFC Coach of the Year Head Coach Charly Cardillichia, now in his second year at the helm of the Rebels, could only sing praise about what potential he saw on the field this weekend. “ I’m very happy with the level of talent we have here. We still have some areas to address, but at the end of the day we’re really happy with what we have here.”
Cardillichia and defensive head coach Shane Beatty couldn’t be more impressed with the defensive play on the field over the weekend. The disciplined, yet aggressive play of the assembled defensive core could only bode well for a team that set penalty yard records In the BCFC the last two consecutive years running. With the likes of returning 6′-3″ 225 lb LB Ovie Akpeneye, new Rebel’s recruit 6′-4″ 250lb DE Jamiel Moore Williams, and a speedy DB core all to lead the way, the Rebel’s are sure to look to send a message this season to their opponent’s offensive lines.
The Rebels, losing many last year’s high caliber players such as lineman Kent Hicks, Christian Krause, Tyson Thompson, Jeremie Drouin to the University of Manitoba Bison, and RB Trey Campbell to Saint Mary’s, look to have done well in the offseason to retool and refuel despite the last year’s player losses.
When asked how the team would adjust in the face of the losses, head coach Cardillichia would explain, “ The guys that we lost are guys you don’t really replace. You can go out and try to find players that can help fill the void, but to replace players of that type of caliber it’s tough to do. To find someone like a Kent Hicks, or a Trey Campbell you can look long and hard. We have tried to bring in some new guys (this season), a new culture, try to do things a little differently, but still be as effective.”
“I knew that I would only see 60-70 this weekend with the level of players I was bringing in. I didn’t want a hundred high school players just to fill a roster that would hardly get the chance to play. The nucleus that we have here is going to give us a strong team, we’re going to be competitive, and you’ll see us at the top“, Cardillichia would add.
With more player recruits on the way according to Cardillichia, the 2018-2019 season looks to hold further promise for a Westshore Rebel program that has committed to building a perennial, national junior football program here on Vancouver Island.
With main camp still two months away, Rebels fans certainly will be eager to get glimpse what shape the final roster will look like.