John Barsby Bulldogs aren’t messing around when it comes to preparing for the B.C. High School Football season.
Practising since Aug. 20, the Bulldogs’ senior and junior AA varsity teams are jumping right into the mix with a pre-season doubleheader Friday (Sept. 7) against the provincial powerhouse AAA Mt. Douglas Rams from Victoria.
The games take place at Beban Park’s Merle Logan Field with a 4 p.m. kickoff for the juniors and 6:30 p.m. for the seniors.
Rob Stevenson, Bulldogs coach, said there’s nothing like a big test right out of the gate.
“This Mt. Doug senior team is kind of all-world. They won it all last year in the AAA, are ranked No. 1 in B.C. right now, and are just coming off a 38-6 victory over Junction City, Oregon which is a four-A school down there,” he said. “They’ve got some superb athletes on that team and they’re playing well.”
But Barsby isn’t about to roll over on the visitor’s reputation.
“We’re a very experienced team, we’re in great shape physically and we got some numbers out this year, so this is a game we’re not just trying to compete in, we’re going out to try and win it,” said Stevenson. “It’s going to be a game for the ages. They’ve got a game under their belt and this is our opener, but we’re excited as heck to have the game and we’re going to come out and give it our all.”
Barsby’s junior squad is the reigning B.C. AA champion, with 10 players returning for the season.
“We also have 15 or 16 kids that will get their first crack at high school football so it will be a real stress test against a talented, physically imposing Mt. Doug team,” said Stevenson. “If anything, it’s a great game to gauge where we’re at, what we need to work on and how we respond to difficult situations as they arise.
“It’s going to be neat to see how the leadership emerges and who our contributors are going to be this season.”