The spring minor football season got underway last Sunday as both Cowichan Bulldogs teams took on the Saanich Wolverines at Copley Field in Victoria.
Neither Cowichan team was satisfied with the results, but there were lots of learning opportunities for the young players.
“Although the outcome of the game is not what we were hoping for, there was lots of good things to build on for our next game,” said peewee Bulldogs head coach Tim Maertz, whose team lost 38-0.
The peewees’ offence struggled in the first half, but started finding its stride in the second half when a 25-yard run by Aiden Reithaug led to a long drive downt the field.
“Our offence has come a long way, and will get better,” Maertz said. “We have some great athletes, and a group of players that won’t give up.”
The Cowichan defence had a better game than the score would suggest.
“When you factor in the fact that Saanich scored all but one touchdown in the first half, it tells you that as the game wore on the defence stopped almost everything Saanich threw at us,” Maertz said.
Cayden Summers led the Cowichan defence, making key tackles that more than once led to the Wolverines’ offence being pushed back five yards or more.
“It was a good game to learn about the team — which player works where, and what areas need to be worked on more than others,” Maertz said. “All in all it was a great effort by the entire team. We have a lot of work to do, and the players are working hard every practice to get better.”
The junior bantam Bulldogs lost 44-0 in their season opener. Head coach PJ Shea called it a “painful, but useful experience.”
“The beatdown that was laid on Cowichan will be used as a teaching point,” he said. “A display of how competitive football has become on the Island, and an indication of areas for improvement that need to be addressed.”
Even without a win, the day did produce several bright spots.
“As much as it hurts to lose a game in that fashion, we are still very positive,” Shea said. “We have thrown a lot at the players and we are confident in their abilities and commitment. This game was a well-needed wake-up call for us.”