After a spectacular spring that saw both teams make their respective Island finals — including a repeat championship for the junior bantams — the Cowichan Bulldogs are turning their sights to the fall football season.
“With a full slate of Bulldogs teams set to play at all age levels, the fall is an opportunity for Cowichan football athletes to display the results of an off season of hard work,” said Bulldogs coach PJ Shea. “For some players within the Cowichan program, the offseason was particularly busy, with many participating in selection camps and games.”
Over the offseason for the older teams, the Bulldogs had more players named to rep teams than any other community football club in B.C., Shea pointed out.
“The Cowichan program is extremely strong right now, with success at all levels,” he said. “Our athletes are working hard all year long to improve, and it shows with the amount of representation that we have had at the provincial level. For a program of our size, that is incredible. This success is due to the culture and the commitment that our athletes have created.”
Cowichan junior bantam players Dillon Wilson and Nico Harris suited up for Team BC in the ABC Border Bowl between B.C. and Alberta, and Wilson was also picked for Team West in the All Canada Bowl.
Several players from the Bulldogs’ bantam program also made selects teams. Jesse Kwasny, Laine Hogstead, John Rostas, Jayden Strzok, Gregor McKenzie and Finn Shea represented the Vancouver Mainland Football League in the Star Bowl all-star game, and Hogstead, Rostas, Strzok, McKenzie, Shea and Shammy Mahon were named to Team BC for the ABC Bowl.
Shea was also named to the CFC Top 100 for Canada.
Strzok, Rostas, McKenzie and Shea were selected for the U16 provincial team that will compete for the national championship against Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba in Kamloops this coming weekend.
The Cowichan midget program was also well represented.
Dakota Cullum, Brooks Branchi, Gavin Spencer, Damian McCuaig-Jones, Nicholas Young, Matthew Pretula and Liam Simmonds were picked for the Star Bowl, and Cullum, Young, Liam Hennig, Jon Nantais and Aidan Taylor were named to Team BC for the ABC Bowl. Nantais and Dylan Taylor also cracked the CFC Top 100.
The Bulldogs are currently recruiting for the 2019 fall season, with teams for players between the ages of eight and 18.