A U.S. football coach will help give extra bite to the Belmont Bulldogs this year as a new season opens this Friday.
Belmont’s varsity and junior varsity squad are going head to head against Edward Milne Wolverines at Bear Mountain Stadium.
The Bulldogs have a new offensive co-ordinator from Seattle, J.C. Boice, who moved to Canada with his son Court Boice.
J.C. coached football in the States and will bring a level of intensity to the team, said head coach Kevin Harrington.
With additional guidance from J.C, varsity player Keith Williamson said “everything is up tempo.”
For Court, 15, playing football in Langford isn’t much different from the game he’s used to since Canadian high school football follows American rules and field dimensions.
“The players learn fast up here. The game is very similar and the pace is similar,” Court said. “People should check out our games ‘cause we are going to roll whoever we go up against.”
Court, a quarterback, is only in Grade 9, but he has big goals. “I am shooting for the varsity team,” he said.
Harrington’s goals for the season are for the varsity team to win the Tier 2 B.C. championships. Next year the team will move up to a AAA ranking.
For Williamson, an inside receiver and an outside line backer, this is his third year playing for the Bulldogs.
“I am hoping we go undefeated for the whole season and win the (B.C.) championship that which we missed last year.”
The varsity team finished second in the B.C. championships last season.
“On the ride home on the ferry the boys looked at me and said, ‘so we start Monday?’” Harrington said, speaking about their dedication to the game and the school.
Over the summer Harrington, has volunteered his time with the players, working on drills and conditioning to ensure this year’s athletes are ready to compete.
“The kids have been working since March and all through the summer,” Harrington said.
The junior varsity team made it to the Island playoffs last season, but lost in the first round. The junior varsity boys are playing their first year of AAA ball.
Thirty players are registered for varsity and 21 for junior varsity.
“We certainly need more JV players,” Harrington said. He would take up to 40 players for each team.
West Shore students in grades 8 and 9 can play for the junior varsity team.
The Belmont Bulldogs double header features middle school appreciation day — all middle school students are offered free admission to Bear Mountain Stadium.
“They can see what it’s like (to be on the team) when they finally make it to high school,” Williamson said. “It’s great and I like all the players and coaches.”
The first 500 people at Bear Mountain stadium will receive a free hot dog. The team is asking for a $2 donation for non middle school entrants.
The junior varsity team plays at 3 p.m. and varsity plays at 5:30 p.m. on Friday.