‘Dawgs will play ferocious football

The John Barsby Bulldogs AA varsity football team kicks off its regular season Friday (Sept. 20) in North Van against the Argyle Pipers.

Barsby Bulldogs running back Kyle Vollet gains yardage against the South Delta Sun Devils in last fall’s provincial semifinal at UBC’s Thunderbird Stadium.

Barsby Bulldogs running back Kyle Vollet gains yardage against the South Delta Sun Devils in last fall’s provincial semifinal at UBC’s Thunderbird Stadium.

The goal, said the coach, is to build a better Barsby.

The John Barsby Bulldogs AA varsity football team kicks off its regular season Friday (Sept. 20) in North Vancouver against the Argyle Pipers.

It’s expected to be one of those games this fall in which the heavily favoured ’Dawgs will run roughshod over the other team. It will be imperative, therefore, for players to challenge themselves.

“Our journey is, how do we get better as individuals and as a team?” asked Rob Stevenson, the team’s coach. “If we can build a better Barsby then we can take that onto the playing field and play pretty good against an opponent.”

The Bulldogs are building on a firm foundation. The offence is balanced, the defence is stingy and special teams have been superb, said the coach.

“We’re blessed with hard-working kids and athletic kids. It’s a great situation to have,” Stevenson said.

Offensively, he said the team has shown the ability to run the ball or pass the ball, so a defence that loads up against one or the other will be leaving itself vulnerable.

Big Grade 12 vet Brody Taylor and Grade 11 gunslinger North Rainey will both get chances to play quarterback.

Numerous players will run the ball, including tailbacks Brandon Parker, Kyle Vollet, Tyler Harvey and Dane Larsen and fullbacks Trentyn Anderson, Cole Virtanen and Chance MacKay-Topley.

The offensive line is anchored by Tristan (Petey) Slotte and Ryan Stratton.

The receiving corps is led by Kalven Kellock, with Mark Dhamia and Naythan Vogt also contributing.

On defence, the secondary has been “lights out,” said Stevenson, showing an ability to force key turnovers. Virtanen at free safety, corners Shawn Arabsky and Duc Truong and Blair Gould are some of Barsby’s ball hawks.

The linebacking corps includes Parker Bowles, Vollet, Anderson, MacKay-Topley and Sheldon Robertson.

As Barsby builds, it has all the tools – guys who are tough as nails, guys who will put the hammer down, guys who will execute a chainsaw offence.

“We’re excited about this,” said Stevenson. “I think the Barsby football team is going to play some pretty ferocious ball.”

GAME ON … Barsby’s home opener will be Oct. 4, the Border Battle game against the Ballenas Whalers. That contest will be a 6 p.m. kickoff at Merle Logan Field.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com