Vancouver Island was well represented on the 14U All Star Youth Sports football team at the Snoop Dogg Youth Football National Championship. The team played their first game against San Francisco’s DC Stars on December 13th in Los Angeles.
An intensive first half ended with a 0-0 score thanks to the amazing defensive play by both teams. Team Canada (as they are calling the only Canadian team) came out strong in the second half with Victoria’s own Malik Gagne-Smith, of the Mount Douglass Rams, leading the way with two key touchdowns.
The second half saw many more offensive opportunities and Team Canada secured a 34-24 win allowing them to advance to the semi-final playoffs. Today they will face the highly touted SB Spartans from California
While Snoop Dogg is most known for his rapping he is also known for promoting youth football and cheer. The SYFL National Championship is for the winners of the Snoop Youth Football League as well as highly skilled pre-qualified teams from Virginia, Hawaii, New Jersey, Arizona, Colorado, Texas and Canada.
This year former B.C Lions star Cory Philpot held open tryouts for his All Star Youth Sport 12U and 14U teams. Players from across B.C were selected to create the first ever Canadian team to play in the tournament.
According to Philpot “It’s awesome for the kids. They get to play against some talented athletes,” also he sees this opportunity as an important one because “It is important for the kids to play competitive football to make them better.” After the success of this year Cory is hoping to create a football jamboree called the Snoop Bowl next April which he hopes will attract the top talent and scouts from across B.C.
This year a quarter of the 14U athletes come from Vancouver Island, they are; Jacob Greenway (Mt.Doug Rams), Malik Gagne-Smith (Mt.Doug Rams), Angelo Avila (Westshore Warriors), Connor Steves (Victoria Renegades), Malcolm Fraser (Belmont Bulldogs),Carl Wardrope (Mt.Doug Rams), Ethan LeBlanc (Mt.Doug Rams), Cameron Weir (Belmont Bulldogs), Keegan Meade (Westshore Warriors) and Sebastian Beau Lambert (Comox Raiders).
Playing as part of a select all star team has provided theses athletes, who normally compete against each other, the opportunity to come together and represent their country.