Football players from across Vancouver Island run sprints as they warm up for tests at the combine at the Cowichan Sportsplex last Sunday afternoon. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Football players from across Vancouver Island run sprints as they warm up for tests at the combine at the Cowichan Sportsplex last Sunday afternoon. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Cowichan hosts football combine for South Island players

Part of the provincial team process

Football players from across the southern portion of Vancouver Island gathered in Duncan on Sunday to test their abilities in a combine at the Cowichan Sportsplex

The combine is part of a new program created by the B.C. Provincial Football Association, intended to identify and develop football players in B.C. The athletes participated in a range of tests, with the results collected and used to monitor their development and potential. According to Cowichan Bulldogs coach PJ Shea, the immediate goal is to help pick players for Team BC, but the larger goal is to promote football and B.C. athletes.

“We have athletes at this combine who have the potential to progress in football as far as they wish,” Shea said. “Southern Vancouver Island is producing many of the best football players in the province, potentially the country. We, as coaches, are amazed at the work ethic, and the drive of these athletes. Many of the combine test results from this weekend are comparable, if not better than, many of the testing results at the post-secondary level. It’s incredible.”

The BCPFA has created a football academy for southern Vancouver Island, in which all athletes who play for teams from Cowichan south can participate. At this point, it consists of weekly practices that focus on fitness, movement and football-specific drills. Practices are split between Cowichan and Langford.

Every community and high school football program in the region is represented in the academy, and all programs were represented at Sunday’s combine as well. Players were tested in the 40-yard dash, pro-agility, broad jump and bench press, with the results used by players to measure their own improvement and by the coaches to identify potential.

“The combine was highly competitive, as many of the participants have already been identified as elite players,” Shea commented.

Players ranged in age from the U13 to U19 ranks, with the older ones aiming not only for Team BC but also for the university ranks.

“Reality is that the potential of playing professionally is highly unlikely; and that should never be the objective in youth sport. If we, as coaches, can help these athletes get to a place where even some of their post-secondary studies are paid for, that is fantastic. Many of our coaching staff were able to leverage the sport into a university degree. It shows that it’s attainable, which I think is a great motivator for the older players.”

The combine was the second in a process that will end with the announcement of Team BC and Team Canada in July. Cowichan Football has a number of athletes in the provincial process, and five of the coaches are from the local program.

“Obviously, I am biased, but I look at our organization (Cowichan), as one of the premiere community programs in the province,” said Shea. “The athletes that are developing with us are exceptional. Not all will make the provincial selection, but many will. Maybe it’s the water, maybe it’s just the result of growing up in the Valley, but we have some of the most driven, and dedicated youth athletes anywhere.”



kevin.rothbauer@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Football

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Bryce Reuther does a broad jump test at the football combine at the Cowichan Sportsplex last Sunday afternoon. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Bryce Reuther does a broad jump test at the football combine at the Cowichan Sportsplex last Sunday afternoon. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Cowichan’s Lucas Laver runs the 40-yard dash at the football combine at the Cowichan Sportsplex last Sunday afternoon. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Cowichan’s Lucas Laver runs the 40-yard dash at the football combine at the Cowichan Sportsplex last Sunday afternoon. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Just Posted

Sahtlam Volunteer Firefighters Association has stepped up, in spite of COVID, for a number of charities. (Submitted)
Sahtlam firefighters step up

Sahtlam Volunteer Firefighters Association has a long history of supporting charities

A mobile home fire prompted a quick response from firefighters Saturday around 3:30 p.m. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Mobile home up in flames at Duncan RV Park

One patient burned, EHS on scene

Phaecelia used as a cover crop attracts bees and provides them with high quality nectar. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Cover crops keep soil healthy and productive

We don’t harvest a cover crop and instead dig the tops under when they’re immature and soft

Sarah Simpson
Sarah Simpson Column: Home is where you know your neighbours

My mom has lived at that address for 43 years.

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: One man shot dead in ‘targeted incident’ in Metchosin

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

Personal protective equipment is seen in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
$16.9 million invested to improve worker safety, strengthen B.C.’s food supply chain

Money to be used for social distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning, and air circulation

Most Read