Core of Rams football players lead Team B.C. to Texas

At 6-foot-6 and still a “junior,” or Grade 11 student by Canadian standards, Ashton MacKinnon is set to stand out in Texas

Mount Douglas Rams running back Mason Swift stiff arms a would-be tackler from the Vancouver College Fighting Irish in the Subway Bowl

At 6-foot-6 and still a “junior,” or Grade 11 student by Canadian standards, Ashton MacKinnon is set to stand out in front of top collegiate scouts in Texas later this month.

The giant quarterback is one of six players from the Mount Douglas Rams AAA Subway Bowl championship team to make Team B.C. for a Football University (FBU) tournament in San Antonio, Dec. 30 to Jan. 6.

One of the key elements of the under-18 tournament, which pits Team B.C. against teams from U.S.A. and Europe, is that players are assigned to one position.

The final 36 players were selected following last Friday’s (Dec. 7) one day camp at  the B.C. Lions training facility.

“A big part of the challenge will be to prepare in a short period of time for a quality opponent who you are unfamiliar with, and play multiple games within only a few days of one another,” said Rams head coach Mark Townsend, who is going as Team B.C.’s running backs coach and special teams co-ordinator.

“Having said that, everyone is in the same boat and I know it will prove to be a memorable and rewarding experience for players and coaches.”

MacKinnon will share the quarterback duties with Ballenas Whaler star Liam O’Brien. The 6-foot-4, 200 lbs. pivot from Qualicum is this year’s AA player of the year.

Remarkably, four of the six Rams going are in Grade 11. Marcus Davis, B.C.’s AAA player of the year, made the team as a wide receiver, while monster-sized Zach Wilkinson (6-foot-5, 245 lbs.) and Christian Krause (6-foot-4, 320 lbs.) are going as offensive linemen.

Rams seniors Mason Swift, a two-time Subway Bowl MVP, and Brian Dowds, this year’s Big Kahuna scholarship winner, will go as running back and wide receiver, respectively.

From the Belmont Bulldogs, Grade 12 player Brodie Henderson will join Wilkinson and Krause on the offensive line. Interestingly, five of six offensive linemen are coming from the Island, with Brock Mould of Ballenas and Chae-Cody Faickney of the Nanaimo Redmen named as well.

Belmont coach Alexis Sanschagrin is also going as the defensive backs coach.

As for special teams coach Townsend, he’s already picked the punt and kick returners.

Inserting the electric Davis as punt returner is a no-brainer, with Davis and the province’s most devastating running back, Maleek Irons (W.J. Mouatt), lining up deep as kick returners. Davis returned five kicks/punts for touchdowns in the regular season and had a 65-yard punt return in the first quarter of the Subway Bowl.

The FBU International games are held in conjunction with the U.S. Army All-American Games, a well-hyped, televised promotion of the country’s top high schoolers.

Three of the junior Rams players will play for Team Canada in the 15-and-under U.S. Army All-American games; Junior Rams running back Manny Lopez, defensive lineman Byron MacKinnon and offensive lineman Jesse Woollard.

The ultimate goal for the players is to earn notice by NCAA and CIS scouts looking to give out scholarships.

sports@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Skygazers spot mysterious flaming object during Sunday’s lunar eclipse

University of Victoria astronomer explains the “glowing object”

Evicted UVic student questions Saanich’s housing bylaw

Emma Edmonds had been living with six roommates, while the bylaw states you cannot exceed four

Ousted legislature officials say report released to further blacken their reputations

James and Lenz say release was ‘Contrary to all principles of fairness and decent treatment’

Sooke trade show targets local business

Sookrama planned for April

Home care complaints up 45% on Vancouver Island

Number of home care hours delivered down 6%, complaints up 45 %

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Liberals look to make home-buying more affordable for millennials: Morneau

Housing is expected to be a prominent campaign issue ahead of October’s federal election

Canadian navy plans to extend life of submarines

The fleet has turned a corner after a troubled start

Cannabis-carrying border crossers could be hit with fines under coming system

Penalties are slated to be in place some time next year

Man accused of threatening to kill ‘as many girls as I see’

Christopher W. Cleary wrote he was angry because he’d never had a girlfriend and wanted to ‘make it right’ with a mass shooting

Canadian talent abound on newly revamped Vancouver Whitecaps squad

Lineup is full of new faces after the organization parted ways with 18 players over the off-season

B.C. Green leader calls for long-term legislature financial audit

Andrew Weaver says trust in clerk and sergeant at arms is gone

No charges in fatal police Taser incident in B.C.

RCMP watchdog concludes no evidence of excessive or disproportionate force was used by officers

Most Read