It was a season of adversity for the midget Cowichan Bulldogs.
Their season ended recently after a 33-3 loss to the White Rock Titans in the playoffs.
“This has been a season unlike any other I have ever been a part of,” head coach Tim Maertz said.
From scheduling, which saw them play the same team four times (including three in a row), to missing out on two games because another team folded, to playing teams with rosters twice the size; from illness to long term injuries that kept players out for extended periods, the team saw it all.
“We had to face this season controlling the things that we as coaches, we as players were able to control,” Maertz explained. “We were able to control our work ethic at practice, players were eager to learn, and worked hard every practice. They never gave up in a game, they tried their best, leaving nothing on the field that would make them wonder if they did enough. They played as a team, as a family, teaching and learning from each other. I am so proud of each and every one of these players.”
In their final game of the year, fittingly, against a team they saw a lot of this year, the Bulldogs kicked the ball to the Titans to begin the game. After a couple of stops on defence, the Titans’ quarterback broke free for a 65-yard touchdown.
Cowichan blocked the point after making it 6-0 for the Titans.
“That wasn’t how we wanted to start the game. We had a lot of positive things from our previous game the week before against the Titans that we wanted to build off of,” Maertz admitted. “I was still very confident that we could turn things around and be a very competitive team.”
The Bulldogs first offensive drive of the game ended in an interception. The Titans scored two plays later, and made the point after to make the game 13-0 Titans.
The Bulldogs were able to string a drive together on their next possession starting at their own 25 yard line, but they were only able to get to mid-field before turning the ball over on downs.
Another quick score by the Titans made it 20-0 at the start of the second quarter.
“The offence struggled to get much going and had to punt after a few plays,” Maertz said. “The Titans scored a major, but only after they had to work pretty hard for it. We held them for much of the game making them work to get the first downs, we just gave them those big plays that they scored on.”
Ultimately, the game ended at 33-3 in favour of White Rock, ending Cowichan’s season.
“I am so proud of this team. We held the Titans off the score sheet for the entire second half,” Maertz said. “These players never stopped fighting, and left everything on the field. I am so very grateful for having the opportunity to coach this team, I have learned so much from these kids,” Maertz added. “I am excited for next season.”