V.I. Raiders running back Micheal Ritchott gains yardage during an intrasquad game Sunday at Merle Logan Field. Nanaimo’s Canadian Junior Football League team held its spring camp at the venue over three days.

V.I. Raiders running back Micheal Ritchott gains yardage during an intrasquad game Sunday at Merle Logan Field. Nanaimo’s Canadian Junior Football League team held its spring camp at the venue over three days.

Raiders have spring in their step at camp

The V.I. Raiders, Nanaimo’s Canadian Junior Football League club, held spring camp this past weekend at Merle Logan Field.

The rebuilding Vancouver Island Raiders began pouring the foundation.

Nanaimo’s Canadian Junior Football League club held its spring camp this past weekend at Merle Logan Field, with coaches looking at 90 players.

“It was really good,” said Brian Ridgeway, the team’s new head coach. “We wanted to focus on skill development because our average age at theis camp was 19. We had a lot of young guys; we wanted to make sure that we develop them.”

He said the coaches “didn’t want to beat [players] up too much” during spring camp, but definitely wanted to try to gauge work ethic as well as talent and knowledge of the game.

“We came up with very basic playbooks, just so we can evaluate and let guys fly around, but the big focus was on error detection and correction on the fundamentals,” Ridgeway said.

That said, there were opportunities for guys to impress with playmaking and hard hits. Micheal Ritchott, Raiders running back, said he didn’t see any drop-off in intensity over the off-season.

“It hasn’t changed,” he said. “We’re going harder, maybe, because a lot of rookies have a lot to prove this year, and so do the vets.”

The coach was happy with what he saw from guys in skill positions, as the quarterbacks, receivers and running backs all showed well. Jaeden Marwick returns at the QB position and two others at camp, Michael Lemoine and Brody Taylor, also had strong performances.

Ritchott was encouraged by the offence’s potential.

“We went out, we executed fairly well,” he said. “There’s a lot we could work on but it is only spring camp. I guess we’ll see what main camp brings.”

Ridgeway will continue to recruit between now and main camp and will particularly be considering experienced players who may be thinking about the CJFL instead of Canadian Interuniversity Sport.

For now, the Raiders coaches will immediately invite 35 guys to main camp and then sit down to watch film to determine other invitees.

“We’ll make a decision on the rest of the guys on their growth potential,” Ridgeway said. “How did they work? How did they take the coaching? Will they be worth investing a couple of years in to make them a quality player?”

He’ll also need to determine mutual interest, of course, and also off-field goals.

“It can’t just be about football at this level,” said the coach. “We’re trying to grow young men to fit into the community.”

GRID BITS … Some new additions to the Raiders coaching staff in 2014 include alumni Jaiden Smith, Gordon Robinson and Anthony Bienvenue … To see two more photos from camp, please click here and here.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

Just Posted

Construction work continues on the City of Nanaimo’s new Fire Station No. 1 on Fitzwilliam Street. (News Bulletin file)
Next phase of borrowing approved as Nanaimo fire hall construction ongoing

City of Nanaimo CAO says construction on Fitzwilliam Street hall on schedule and budget

Nanaimo Fire Rescue firefighters at the scene of a single-vehicle crash on Tenth Street near Southside Drive on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Driver OK after crashing vehicle off the side of Nanaimo’s Tenth Street

Crews say wet roads a factor a crash Sunday, June 13

Emergency crews on scene of a two-car crash at the intersection of Cranberry Avenue and the Trans-Canada Highway on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Crash blocks Cranberry intersection in Nanaimo, no one injured

Incident blocks both southbound lanes of Trans-Canada Highway

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

Nanaimo is the first city in Canada to subscribe to the Chonolog environment photo-monitoring system, which allow residents to contribute photos of habitat restoration projects that are converted to time lapse sequences showing environmental changes. (Chris Bush/ News Bulletin)
Nanaimo residents invited to be citizen scientists by sharing habitat restoration photos

Nanaimo first city in Canada to sign up for Chronolog environment photo monitoring service

Emergency crews on scene of a two-car crash at the intersection of Cranberry Avenue and the Trans-Canada Highway on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Crash blocks Cranberry intersection in Nanaimo, no one injured

Incident blocks both southbound lanes of Trans-Canada Highway

Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

Harvesting hay in the Fraser Valley. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
COVID-19: B.C. waives farm income requirement for a second year

Property owners don’t need minimum income for 2022 taxes

A view of the outside of St. Andrews Roman Catholic Cathedral on Victoria’s Blanshard Street. (Don Denton/News staff)
Vancouver Island bishop apologizes for church’s role in residential schools

Bishop Gary Gordon of the Diocese of Victoria voices commitment to healing and reconciliation

Cruise ship passengers arrive at Juneau, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
B.C. doesn’t depend on U.S. law to attract cruise ships, Horgan says

Provinces to get update next week on Canada’s border closure

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

Most Read