A road trip to Surrey to play the Bears was on tap for the Midget Cowichan Bulldogs on Sunday and while the final result wasn’t ideal, one thing’s for sure, the team’s coaches are sure proud of their team.
“Our team has faced a lot of adversity this season. I think this team has had everything thrown at them including the kitchen sink,” said head coach Tim Maertz. “We have had a game cancelled due to a shortage of referees, a game cancelled due to smoke, and horrible air quality. We seem to have an injury bug hanging over us as well.”
All of that through the first six weeks of the season and throughout which, Maertz said, his squad have never quit.
“Our last three games have been blowouts, losing 59-0, and 63-6 against Comox back to back, then losing 49-0 yesterday to Surrey,” he said. “This team has made huge improvements in the players’ skills, and I feel we are on the cusp of turning these losses into wins. I am so incredibly proud of this group of players.”
In Surrey, Cowichan fell behind early when the Bears scored on their first drive.
Time and time again, Cowichan’s drives began well and ended without a scoring play.
Ryder Maertz ran 15 yards for a first down early in the contest, followed by a catch and run by Trey McCuaig-Jones for 15 yards. Nothing became of the drive. Then the Bears scored again making it 14-0.
Cowichan’s Ben Wilson was able to run the ball 35 yards to get his team into good position for their next drive, which began with a hand-off to Cole Davis.
“He’s been an excellent full back for us this season,” Maertz said. “He has learned a lot about the game and he’s been a big contributor to our offence.”
Other offensive efforts were given by Connor Harper and Till Pabst, while Pabst did double duty playing both sides of the ball along with many of his teammates.
“Till is one of three exchange students we have on our team this season. Breno Volpon (Brazil), and Lucien Wautelet (Belgium) — all of these guys have really been a joy to coach, they are eager to learn the sport, and help the team be successful,” Maertz said.
By the end of the third, the score was 49-0 and Cowichan was exhausted.
“The Bulldogs ran out of gas late in the third and fourth quarters. We were down four or five guys this weekend due to injuries, and illnesses,” Maertz explained. “The guys that played, played iron man football, not getting a lot of rest and played on both offence and defence. We were pooped out. We dressed 15 players against Surrey’s 25. Some players were put into positions they don’t usually play so the player that’s usually in that position could get a break.”
Cowichan worked hard to keep Surrey off the scoreboard during the fourth quarter — a testament to their never-say-die attitude.
“The coaching staff are incredibly proud of this team’s efforts throughout this season. When we get our whole team together I know we are going to be a force to contend with,” Maertz said.