The Westshore Rebels acquired 50 players for the coming season over the weekend with more to come.
“We had a great camp – really, really good kids signed – and we’re excited for the prospects of the season,” head coach Shane Beatty told Black Press Media.
Signing day brought in 23 new players, including the long-targeted U Sports quarterback Colby Henkel out of Stone Plain, Alberta. Henkel won rookie of the year for BC Football Conference (BCFC) and Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) in 2016.
Henkel will join other standout additions like receiver and returner Brycen Mayoh, the 2017 BCFC Offensive MVP from the University of Calgary Dinos, linebacker Jesse Zajaros from the University of McMaster Marauders and defense back Polis Koko, from Regina Thunder and the University of Regina.
Twenty-seven players return this year. Key players to help bolster this year’s strong receiving corps and D-line include receiver Nathan Falito, linebacker Byron MacKinnon, Leo Ingram at nose.
The Rebels are looking to recapture the Cullen Cup after a forgettable 2018 season that saw the team slip from their perch. This year, the focus will return to teamwork, Beatty said.
“’We, not me’ this year. Just about the team – put the team before yourself,” he said. The team success stems from “working our butt off” in the offseason, he added.
“Hard work in the weight room builds success.”
The full list of signings can be found on the Rebels website.
The Rebels play in the six-team BCFC, which itself is part of the CJFL, and competes annually for the national title, known as the Canadian Bowl. The club has operated continuously since the late 1960s in Greater Victoria, having previously been known as the Sharks, Payless, and the Hornets.