July 15, 2018 Victoria, BC (ISN) – Westshore Rebels went from paper to gridiron as Head Coach Charly Cardilicchia, fresh off a national recruiting spree, got to see the early fruits of his labor as the 2017 Cullen Cup runners-up got a chance to see what this year’s BCFC team will look like as they hosted their main training camp at Westhills Stadium this past weekend.
Not lost from the memory of the Westshore Rebels and Cardilicchia is last season’s upset, Cullen Cup loss to Nanaimo’s V.I. Raiders and the post season loss of a talented line of now Rebel’s Alumni players to USport eligibility.
If there were any incentive in those past losses, Cardilicchia would have appeared to check off most of the boxes on the shopping list he travelled with as the on field talent this weekend would impress on both sides of the ball.
High on the Rebel’s recruitment requirements was work ethic according to Cardilicchia. “We recruited based on the idea we wanted work ethic. Week in and week out there is one common denominator to success, no matter if it’s work, life, or sports, it’s work ethic. Hard work trumps all,” Cardilicchia would say.
Slated to be given the keys to the Rebels offensive engine is new Rebel’s quarterback Mason Brown, who is filling the gap after last year’s quarterback Scott Borden aged out and is now playing for the Manitoba Bison. Mason Brown, from Hamilton Ontario, most recently played at the University of Acadia. Mason was a CFC Top 100 after playing quarterback for the Royal Imperial Collegiate of Canada. Arriving a day late, Brown was a natural fit for his receivers with a throwing touch that almost seemed magnetic to the hands of his targets.
His receiving core, perhaps the fastest and shiftiest seen in recent years wearing the home red and white will surely give Brown some targets to shoot for from behind a young, energetic offensive line.
Despite the younger looking team, Cardilicchia is not too concerned about a potential lack of experience.
“ We are replacing a lot of elder players with young kids. We are a young team, but we have some really good, young talent, and then there is some really good, older leadership. The leadership is really infectious right now so the locker room is strong. The encouragement is there (for the younger players). It will be kind of a new era (for the team). “
Despite the steep learning curve for some of the younger new recruits, Cardilicchia is equally impressed by the hard work, level of player game I.Q., and how quickly the team is learning the Rebel’s game sheet.
Defensively, the Rebels look to be faster team to the ball than last year’s core, which should bode well for a team that had the dubious honor of holding the BCFC record for the most penalty yards assessed in a single season last year. With a returning core of veterans in the secondary and an aggressive front D-line, offensive lines will of the opposing teams will be tested to protect any positive yardage. Discipline will be a key factor to a successful Rebel’s season.
When asked to summarize his team in three words Cardilicchia would offer, “ Energetic, Scrappy, and Confident.”
The Westshore Rebels season kicks off on August 4th when they will travel to Langley to take on the Rams, under the new guidance of ex-VI Raider coach Matt “Snoop” Blokker.
The Rebels first home game will be against the always-dangerous Okanagan Sun on August 11th at 4:00 pm