With the fall football season approaching quickly, the Cowichan Bulldogs are prepared to answer any questions about their sport, from the perceived dangers to the benefits of playing a team sport.
"All our coaches are National Coaching Certification Programtrained and have been instructed in the latest ‘safe contact’ methods," Jeff McDonald, a longtime coach and past-president of the organization said. "All skills taught in football are transferable life skills: teamwork, selfconfidence and the ability to overcome adversity."
The Bulldogs have always made an effort to reach out to the community, including participation in fundraisers for organizations like the food bank and Cops For Cancer. On the field, the Bulldogs make safety and fun priorities.
"We ensure that, through training, our coaches and staff have plenty of both," McDonald said. "Our players are known throughout football in B.C. as some of the hardest and toughest, but also the most sportsmanlike."
While fun is most important, the Bulldogs have had players experience success at many levels. Two players have made it through the first cuts for U18 Team BC, while two U16 players recently took part in the Red River Cup in Manitoba.
The Bulldogs also have 12 alumni on four different junior teams in B.C.: Patrick Warren, Dusean Leblanc, Chris Pastro on the Westshore Rebels; J.Q. Lobo, Cory Lewis and Evan Rhodes on the Vancouver Island Raiders; Ryan McDonald, Adam Marchetti and Brock Gowanlock on the Langley Rams; and R.J. Piche and Eric Williams on the Valley Huskers.
Three more Bulldogs grads are heading to the university ranks, with Kevin Gabriel going to Concordia, Drayson Price bound for the University of British Columbia, and Eric Maslen off to Morehead State in California. "While we are proud of all of these young men, we are also proud of those who still play, who represent the club and their community with class and dignity," McDonald said.