Lake Cowichan Gazette
Patrick Warren first suited up for the Cowichan Bulldogs at the age of seven and he would wear the Bulldogs’ signature crimson and gold through each and every game until his selection for the 2013 Starbowl last March.
The former Lake Cowichan resident approached Starbowl — the B.C. Community Football Association’s equivalent of an all-star game — assuming his football career was drawing to a close.
“I thought I was done at the end of my Bulldogs career,” Warren explained, “but then I went to Starbowl.”
Seated in the crowd was a scout for the Westshore Rebels, a British Columbia Football Conference (BCFC) team based in Langford.
“I guess he liked me,” Warren added. “He sent me a message saying ‘Come out to my camp,’ and the rest is history.”
Standing five feet, 11 inches and weighing in at 225 pounds, a red-and-black clad Warren has been suiting up as the Rebels’ left guard, “heading off linebackers” or blocking the opposition’s tackle whenever his team’s on the offensive.
With four games now under his belt, the rookie offensive lineman has come to appreciate what it means to play with a team that’s in a development year.
The Rebels kicked off their season with a 10-35 home-turf loss to the VI Raiders July 27 followed by a crushing 10-69 loss to the Langley Rams at McLeod Park Stadium Aug. 3.
A 26-37 loss at home to the Okanagan Sun extended the Rebels’ losing streak to three Aug. 10, and a rematch versus the Langley Rams Aug. 17 ensured the Rebels would remain winless through their first four games of the season (they lost to the Rams 20-58).
“We played some really heavy teams in our first couple of games,” Warren said. “We played the Raiders and Langley and they’re known as the [league’s] really good teams, but we should be playing some easier teams [next.]”
Warren acknowledged that their loss to Langley was “pretty bad,” he said, but he remains optimistic on their chances for the season.
“We’re still developing,” Warren explained. “Our team is developing and getting better and better with every game.”
The 19-year-old tech specialist completed Camosun College’s Network Electronics program last spring, he said, and he’s since moved to Victoria to intern with VIHA as “a technical analyst.”
When he completes his internship late September, Warren said he hopes to find a job in the Greater Victoria area so that he can remain in the city through the remainder of the Rebels season.
The BCFC functions as a development league for football teams fielded by Canadian universities, Warren said, so he hopes to spend the next year or so exploring his future prospects both on and off the field.
“I think it’d be cool to go to UBC,” Warren said, adding that he’s eyeing a degree in either electronics or computer science at a post-secondary school that fields a team.
The Rebels play their next home game versus Nanaimo’s VI Raiders Saturday, Sept. 21, at Westhills Stadium in Langford. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
For more on the Westshore Rebels and the BCCF, visit bcjuniorfootball.ca.