Rams kick off new season

Mount Douglas hosts Vancouver College Friday as the Rams begin their quest to defend their B.C. high school title

Grade 9 player Roman Dujela of the Mount Douglas Rams hits the sled during practice ahead of the 2016 season. The junior and senior Rams open the 2016 season at home on Friday versus Vancouver College.

Grade 9 player Roman Dujela of the Mount Douglas Rams hits the sled during practice ahead of the 2016 season. The junior and senior Rams open the 2016 season at home on Friday versus Vancouver College.

At the start of another year, it’s another question of expectations for the Mount Douglas Rams football team.

If there’s one thing the defending champs proved last season, it doesn’t matter how many stars they graduate to the CIS, they are not to be written off as rebuilding. Last year the Rams emerged to win their fourth AAA Subway Bowl title in five years. Throw in the 2010 AA senior championship and two junior championships in the same time span, and it’s been a heck of a run.

The junior Rams and defending provincial champion senior Rams start the 2016 season at home Friday against the visiting Vancouver College Fighting Irish, a pair of afternoon games at noon and 3 p.m. For the seniors, it’s a rematch of the 2015 Subway Bowl final, which the Rams won 34-17.

Among the returning senior team players are quarterback Gideon Kremler, who carries the rare distinction of winning a B.C. High School Football senior championship as a Grade 9 athlete.

That Kremler earned the senior Rams’ starting role at just 14 years of age was a surprise to everyone including himself, he said.

“Last year it was a bit of a shock to be starting but this year I’m more confident in my surroundings,” he said.

Kremler settled in quick last year and routinely supplied the ball to the Rams’ offensive all stars such as Gavin Cobb, B.C.’s 2015 AAA Player of the Year, and standouts Declann Michelin and Oliver McKenzie. In less than a year, Kremler went from being the team’s former water boy to becoming the senior team’s starting quarterback, and is now looked at as an experienced leader coming off the Subway Bowl championship.

As to how the Rams will find their motivation, the answer is simple, Kremler said.

“The bar is set high here but we are always wanting to be better than the year before, as an athlete and as a person.”

In three preseason games a new core of stars have stepped up for the Rams.

Last week the club travelled to Washington state to face Vashon Island, winning 49-12. It was the club’s third preseason win.

Kremler threw for 266 yards and four touchdowns, including a 26-yard touchdown pass to his twin brother Zairech. Kremler also led the team in rushing with 134 yards and a touchdown. Olti Shala ran for another 58 yards and a touchdown. Receiver Sebastian Hansen caught six passes and one touchdown, and Hayden Naylor made two receptions, both for touchdowns.

It doesn’t get any more family friendly than Kremler throwing to Kremler, but the family connections continue.

Since Gideon and Zairech can remember, they’ve thrown the ball around with big brother and 2015 Rams’ grad Justice (SFU), and their cousins, a pair of brothers who are also current Rams, Josh (Grade 12) and Joe (Grade 9) Lucas.

Josh, a senior team receiver and safety, is one of many names who are ready to step out of the shadow this season. Gideon and Josh have already connected multiple times, with Josh potting two touchdown passes in the 40-0 preseason win over Veronia, Ore., and another in the 35-18 preseason win over the John Barsby Bulldogs.

“Gideon has improved even more over the offseason. He’s been grinding in the gym, on and off the field, he’ll be even better,” Josh said. “The Oregon win was good for confidence but there’s things [as a team] we can clean up.”

Among the many names who are ready to shine for the Rams are Quinn Jenish, Nik Shuck and Olti Shala.Early seedings have the Rams listed as a contender, but not as a runaway favourite. And that’s just fine for program director and head coach Mark Townsend, who has successfully found ways to deal with the team’s high expectations.

“Flying under the radar is not necessarily a bad thing,” Townsend said. “One ranking has us in the top five, which is fine, we know we haven’t earned anything yet. It give the kids a chance to prove the critics wrong.”


Just Posted

Brian Korzenowski rides with Athena, left, and Venus who are safely strapped in and goggled up with the wind in their fur. (Zoe Ducklow - Sooke News Mirror)
Double-dog motorcycle sidecar brings smiles to Sooke Road commuters

Athena and Venus are all teeth and smiles from their Harley-Davidson sidecar

In January 2019, Grade 5 students from Glenlyon Norfolk School, accompanied by Grade 11 student Anastasia Castro, gave a presentation to Oak Bay council seeking a ban on plastic bags in the district. (Black Press Media file photo)
Oak Bay set to survey businesses on single-use plastic products

Survey gathers information ahead of expected legislation on provincial, federal level

Brooke Morneau, a previous participant in car parades, will watch one she has organized for this weekend from her Sidney workplace. (Courtesy Brooke Morneau)
Rolling show and shine ready to cruise Sidney through Saanich

Car parade past senior care homes set for Saturday, June 19

Al Kowalko drives Sooke School District’s first electric bus that began operation in May. The board decided on June 15 that all future buses will be electric, asking the province for more funding to support the program. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
Sooke school board agrees to make all future buses electric

Board to ask province to increase funding to cover the extra up front cost

(Black Press Media file photo)
School parking problems plague Oak Bay residents

Need exceeds official requirements for parking at St. Michaels school

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko, a Vancouver lawyer, has been suspended from practice for two months after admitting that his firm mismanaged $44,353.19 in client trust funds. (Acumen Law)
High-profile B.C. lawyer suspended over $44K in mismanaged client trust funds

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko admits to failing to supervise his staff and find, report the shortage

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., center left, reaches over to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they celebrate the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act that creates a new federal holiday to commemorate June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people after the Civil War, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 17, 2021. It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden to sign bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

New American stat marks the nation’s end of slavery

Kimberly Bussiere and other laid-off employees of Casino Nanaimo have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
B.C. casino workers laid off during pandemic launch class-action lawsuit

Notice of civil claim filed in Supreme Court of B.C. in Nanaimo against Great Canadian Gaming

John Kromhoff with some of the many birthday cards he received from ‘pretty near every place in the world’ after the family of the Langley centenarian let it be known that he wasn’t expecting many cards for his 100th birthday. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Cards from all over the world flood in for B.C. man’s 100th birthday

An online invitation by his family produced a flood of cards to mark his 100th birthday

Most Read