The new Spectrum Thunder junior football team debuted with a close 16-6 loss to the Samuel Roberts Technical Titans from Maple Ridge in a preseason contest at Spectrum field on Friday.
Despite being outnumbered by a squad of nearly twice as many players, the Thunder took a 6-2 lead into the half.
Junior head coach Darren Vaux credited the defence for keeping the Titans from scoring a touchdown until late in the second half.
“The defence played well considering this was their first real game action. I can see that will be one of our strengths.”
As the game wore on, the short bench proved to be too much as the Titans rallied for 16 points.
“I’m really happy with the play of our incoming Grade 9s,” said Vaux. “Chris Starck and Bryden Holt played very solid today.”
The junior player of the game was Riley Wilson for his consistency both on offence and defence, Vaux said.
“Riley does it all for us,” Vaux said. “He can play anywhere we ask and he is the leader of our defence.”
On Saturday the Thunder senior team traveled to Parksville to play the strong AA Ballenas Whalers.
It was tough competition for the Thunder program, which played up a division against the experienced Whalers.
The Whalers prevailed 42-0, which new Thunder senior head coach Ian Laxton said is all part of the process going into the season.
“I was very impressed with our teams reliance and determination,” said. “Our guys never hung their heads or threw in the towel, which showed a lot of character.”
Aaron Walker and Hutty Dick-Canute earned the Thunder player of the game honours. Walker’s play at cornerback earned him the nod while Dick-Canute was recognized for his relentless pressure on the oppositions quarterback, Laxton said.
“We have a lot of work to do to get to the level we want to be playing at. But that being said I have faith in what we are doing and the players we have to accomplish our goals”.
Though Thunder will play the regular season in a tier below that of the Whalers, they’ve set themselves up with two more challenging preseason matches, Nanaimo and then the Mount Douglas Rams.
The junior and senior Thunder host their respective Nanaimo opponents as the preseason continues at Spectrum as the juniors play 3;15 p.m. Thursday (Sept. 17) and the seniors play 2:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18.
Players are still needed for both the Thunder’s junior and varsity teams. Interested players can contact Sue Brennan at Spectrum Community school, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rams double visiting Mount Boucherie
The Mount Douglas Rams football team recorded a double win over visiting Mount Boucherie Bears of West Kelowna on Saturday. The Rams junior side played first, and rolled to a 42-21 win with a strong second half. In the second game, the senior Rams scored the first 27 points en route to a 34-8 victory.
Grade 9 Gideone Kremler impressed, connecting on 10 of 13 pass attempts for three touchdown passes in the first half. Nolan Tesch, Manny Lopez and Oliver MacKenzie each caught TD passes as the Rams had six different receivers catch passes for touchdowns in the game.
Gavin Cobb electrified, said coach Mark Townsend, scoring two touchdowns and registering 249 all purpose yards on the day. One of his TDs came from a 95 yard kick return. Declann Michielin rushed for 109 yards.
The Rams continue the preseason Saturday, hosting the Lord Tweedsmuir juniors at 12:30 p.m. and seniors at 3 p.m.