V.I. Raiders run through a play at walk-through Tuesday night at Comox Field. The team is preparing to face the Westshore Rebels on Saturday (Aug. 6) in Victoria.

V.I. Raiders run through a play at walk-through Tuesday night at Comox Field. The team is preparing to face the Westshore Rebels on Saturday (Aug. 6) in Victoria.

Early season exciting for young Raiders team

The beginning of August is a long way from crunch time, but it’s an exciting time for V.I. Raiders players and coaches.

The beginning of August is a long way from crunch time, but it’s an exciting time for V.I. Raiders players and coaches.

This is the point in the season when a young football team is building its identity.

“People don’t realize we’re younger this year than we were last year,” said Matthew “Snoop” Blokker, Raiders coach, pointing out that there are only five 22-year-olds on the roster.

A day after the team’s first game this past weekend, the coach was already anxious to see what the Raiders could accomplish next.

“I just can’t wait to play,” Blokker said. “The more we play, I know the better we’re going to get. I’m really excited about it.”

The defence, in particular, has a lot of first-year Raiders, but there are also newcomers on offence and on special teams.

“There’s rookies all over the place,” said Andrew Smith, veteran receiver. “So it’s good to see people step up and make plays and fill spots.”

Veteran linebacker Ranji Atwall said the Raiders are “pretty pumped” about the new additions to the team.

“To see young guys strive on this level, it gets you pretty excited to play even harder,” he said. “It’s fun to see.”

GAME ON … The V.I. Raiders (1-0) face the Westshore Rebels (1-0) on Saturday (Aug. 6) at 7 p.m. at Bear Mountain Stadium in Victoria. For a game preview, please visit www.nanaimobulletin.com tomorrow afternoon (Aug. 5).


Just Posted

A section of the rail corridor on Vancouver Island. (Black Press file photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Put rail trail right overtop of the tracks

Removing tracks would be a horrendous expense, says letter writer

District of Lantzville Mayor Mark Swain, left, and Snaw-Naw-As Chief Gordon Edwards sign a memorandum of understanding outside Snaw-Naw-As Market on Friday, June 18. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Lantzville and Snaw-Naw-As sign memorandum of understanding

District and First Nation create joint working group

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Tilray announces new line of products offering more inexpensive choices for medical cannabis users. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo-based Tilray launches new medical cannabis product line

Symbios brand products offered at ‘better price point’ for medical cannabis products

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Janice Coady, left, Aimee Chalifoux and Linda Milford at a vigil for Amy Watts on Wednesday, June 16, outside Nanaimo city hall. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
‘We need to do better,’ says mother of woman killed in Nanaimo

Vigil held for former outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found downtown June 3

The B.C. Ministry of Education has announced close to $44 million for the province’s schools for COVID-19 recovery. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school stakeholders say COVID-19 recovery funding can make a difference

B.C. Ministry of Education announces it expects a ‘near-normal’ return to class in September

Regional District of Nanaimo is looking to repair sewage pipe in the Hammond Bay Road area, which was corroded by gas. (Black Press file)
Corroded sewer pipe along Nanaimo’s Hammond Bay Road will cost $5.5 million to fix

Pipe replacement and reinforcement part of $6.9-million infrastructure project

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in South Island parkland

These birds don’t often touch down on their way between northern B.C. and Mexico

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Most Read