Cowichan Bulldogs’ season goes right to the whistle

The 2016 season came to an end for the bantam Bulldogs on a wet and breezy afternoon last Sunday as they lost to the Richmond Raiders.

The 2016 season came to an end for the bantam Cowichan Bulldogs on a wet and breezy afternoon last Sunday as they lost 42-6 at the hands of the Richmond Raiders in the Vancouver Mainland Football League semifinals.

The Bulldogs got off to a strong start in the first half, and trailed just 13-6 at halftime, but couldn’t hold off the host Raiders in the second half.

“It looked like it was going to be a great day as our running game pushed the Richmond defence around,” head coach Mike Williams recalled. “Unfortunately, the weather didn’t help as we were unable to hang on to the ball; we lost five fumbles on offence — game changers to say the least.”

The Bulldogs had given the undefeated Raiders a pair of challenging games in the regular season, so they felt confident going into the playoffs.

“On the defensive side, the Richmond Raiders did not show us anything that we did not prepare for,” Williams said. “We as coaches just didn’t do enough to prepare our kids for a tough, physical brand of defence. Missed tackles, missed assignments and ill-timed penalties are magnified once you get into the playoffs.”

The game was still within the Bulldogs’ grasp midway through, but the Raiders proved to be too much, scoring 20 points in the third quarter.

“A few big plays by the Raiders offence and a couple of turnovers on our side and we let the game get away from us,” Williams said. “However, I was very happy and a bit surprised with how some of our kids played given the conditions. We played hard until the end.”

The season may have ended earlier than the Bulldogs would have liked, but making the playoffs alone was a huge improvement from 2015.

“At the beginning of the year I set the goal of five wins,” Williams recalled. “Considering we were 0-10 last year, I thought five was realistic. We finished the regular season at 5-5 and gave the 10-0 Raiders their strongest competition, even if the final score did not indicate it.”

Williams commended the players for their commitment over the course of the long season, and made sure not to forget the rest of the staff as well: assistant coaches Tim Maertz, Ross McCauley, JP Sterling, Curtis Rice, Doug Williams and Brendan Gowanlock, and trainer Brenda Hennig and manager Erin Young.

Mike Williams is also an offensive line coach for the Westshore Rebels, who lost the national junior championship game on Saturday, making for a difficult weekend.

“It made for a busy and unfortunate results weekend,” he said. “Next year starts right away.”

The junior bantam Bulldogs saw their season come to a dramatic end on Friday as they lost to the Oceanside Lions by just three points in Ladysmith.

The Lions had thumped the Bulldogs earlier in the season, but the Bulldogs pushed them to the limit in the league semifinal.

Oceanside led by seven points with less than two minutes left to play, when things took a dramatic turn. The Bulldogs scored a touchdown and were successful on the two-point convert to go up by one point. The Lions responded with a quick major of their own, and were ahead by five. The Bulldogs failed to score on offence, but the Cowichan defence managed a safety to get the team within three. Unfortunately, that’s as close as it would get.

“The game signalled the end of the fall season, but for a team that is young and developing, it also marked the beginning of the pursuit for a 2017 spring season championship,” head coach PJ Shea said.

The peewee Bulldogs were scheduled to play a makeup game in Campbell River, but the host team didn’t have enough players and had to back out, ending the peewee season.

 

Just Posted

Conner Gilkin, 5, shows of some of his newfound loot to buddy Jax Dul, 7, during the Lake Cowichan treasure hunt on Saturday, June 5. (Kevin Rothbauer/Gazette)
Weekly hunt has Lake Cowichan digging for treasure

Gold? Silver? Candy? Andrew Braye has stashed away a range of prizes for eager treasure hunters

A new laundromat is opening in the Peters Centre in Lake Cowichan. (file photo)
Peters Centre getting all cleaned up

Laundromat being developed at the Neva Road site

Robert's column
Robert Barron column: Skyrocketing house prices a tragedy

North Cowichan councillor Rosalie Sawrie brought an interesting perspective to a discussion… Continue reading

Soaker hoses laid down over corn seedlings, soon to be covered with mulch, will see to the watering needs of the bed through any summer drought. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Investing in soaker hoses is money well-spent

No-till gardening has a distinct advantage during drought

Karl McPherson, left, and Mary Morrice are the new head coach and general manager, respectively, at the Duncan Dynamics Gymnastics Club. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Manager charts a new course for Duncan Dynamics

More recreational programs to join competitive teams

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

Most Read