As the Westshore Rebels get set to take on the Langley Rams this weekend, it isn’t necessarily the matchup that head coach Charly Cardilicchia is excited about – it’s playing in front of a home crowd for the first time this season.
Cardilicchia has strong ties to local football leagues. He grew up playing local minor football, as well as four seasons with the then-newly-formed British Columbia Football Conference Victoria Rebels of the junior football league, where he scored the team’s first touchdown.
Now, coming home to Westhills Stadium will be a special moment for the Westshore Rebels’ rookie head coach.
“As an organization and the head coach of this team, I’m super excited to bring our product to our home stadium and let people see some football that we’ve been getting ready to come and show them,” Cardilicchia said.
“This is a pretty big day for me coming up, I’m really excited about it.”
The team hopes to build on the momentum of last week’s 25-21 win over the Kamloops Broncos over the weekend.
The Rebels got off to a slow start with the Broncos up 7-0 after the first quarter in Kamloops on Saturday. The teams exchanged leads from there, with Rebels’ running back Aden Enns-Horvath’s seven-yard touchdown giving the away team their first lead of the game. But that was short lived as Broncos’ Thijs Duineveld dove into the end zone to tie the game 14-14.
The match up came down to the wire, when rookie Entinosa Osarenkhoe stripped the ball and put it into the hands of Kent Hicks, who put it in the end zone with 1:25 to go in the final quarter.
The Rebels are now 2-1 on the season.
“The one thing I was really proud of is this team always finds ways to win football games right now, and that’s a special quality,” Cardilicchia said. “Turnovers and big plays they make a big difference down the stretch.”
The team has now turned its attention Saturday’s game, where they’ll benefit from the return of running back Trey Campbell, who has been out since game one with a broken finger.
“We’ll be ready to play them [the Rams], we’ll know exactly what they’ll be trying to do on offense and defense and we’ll go out there and do what we do best and that’s winning football games,” Cardilicchia said.
The Rebels will take on the Langley Rams Saturday, Aug. 19. Kickoff is at 3 p.m. at Westhills Stadium.