The Nanaimo District Islanders’ opponents aren’t going to have much fun this year.
The NDSS Tier 2 varsity football team hopes not only to win its games, but also play a punishing style.
“We can pack a punch,” said Nate Stevenson, coach of the Islanders. “We’ll come at you and we’ll play some hard-nosed football. Teams that are willing to run on us, they better bring a lot of ice.”
Nanaimo District won two of its four pre-season games, losing only to higher-tiered opponents. In ND’s final exhibition last Friday, it got out to a 42-0 second-quarter lead over the Isfeld Ice, who promptly surrendered.
The Isles want to be able to pound their way to a championship, and it could be within their grasp. The team lost in the semifinals each of the last two years and feels like it’s been building the whole time.
“There’s a feeling in the program that we’ve got two more wins to make and the guys are hungry for that,” Stevenson said.
Here’s a look at the 2011 Nanaimo District Islanders:
The Islanders’ double-wing offence will be quarterbacked by Eric Lindsay, who the coach said has a great understanding of the game and ND’s scheme.
Wingbacks Brody Uddenberg and Jacob Cheng will get most of the carries in a run-centric attack.
Tight ends Josh Fletcher, Cole Dumont and Adonai Mayen will be counted on to clear space for the wingbacks, but also to run precise routes and make some catches.
The O line is led by centre Hudson Trepanier and guards Peter Le Patezour and Willy Curry.
“Our offence is a buzzsaw,” said the coach. “It’s bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, and then we’ll dump it deep on you. We’ve got the players this year to do it.”
On defence, Stevenson said, the Islanders try to wear down the opposition over the course of the game.
Veteran Stephen Champion is one of the leaders of the D line.
The linebacking corps is led by Ben Lindstrom, who has a knack for getting to the ball quickly, and outside linebackers Harb Thach and Steven Rice then close in.
The defensive backfield features safety Dustin Wall and corners Wyatt Bilton and Brett Hunter, all of them good athletes who hope the ball comes their way so they can make a play.
NDSS thinks its kicking game will be a team strength this year.
Wolnei Junior, the placekicker, will handle field goals and converts and punter Luiz Ferraz will force opponents to play on a long field.
Uddenberg is the primary kick returner, though the Islanders plan to have several different players fill that role.
The NDSS Islanders kick off the regular season against the Argyle Pipers on Friday (Oct. 7) at 1:45 p.m. at NDSS field.
The Pipers are a brand-new football program and Stevenson said it will be fun to see that excitement on the visitors’ end of the sideline.
“They’re suffering a bit right now from the new-team blues, but it’s always good to see another program and all those kids out there working for something.”
Admission to NDSS home games is always free.