V.I. Raiders quarterback Jordan Yantz has big football dreams, and luckily for Nanaimo fans, they include one more season at Caledonia Park.
The city’s Canadian Junior Football League team held a press conference Thursday to announce that Yantz will return to the Raiders for one final year.
“It means a lot to us when somebody comes and plays for us and they decide to graduate with [us],” said Hadi Abassi, Raiders owner. “It’s an honourable way, especially when the whole country’s after you.”
Yantz considered moving to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport level this season, and investigated opportunities at the University of British Columbia, the University of Regina and Mount Allison University.
“At the end of the day I realized what I have here and the family that’s been created here and the roots,” said Yantz.
Another factor was interest from the B.C. Lions. Yantz was the only junior quarterback to throw at the CFL team’s recent evaluation camp and positive reviews from the coaches there boosted his confidence.
“He did so good at that evaluation camp that they were blown away,” said Matthew (Snoop) Blokker, Raiders coach.
Canadian quarterbacks generally don’t make the CFL, but that doesn’t mean they can’t.
“I like to think that maybe one day a dream will come true and that’s the only way you can really think,” said Yantz.
For now, the QB has one more season with the Raiders. He already holds the CJFL’s passing touchdowns record and he’ll put that record further out of reach. But statistics, records and those sorts of things aren’t at the top of his to-do list in 2012.
“We’ve been so close to winning, and winning it all and that was another part of my decision to come back. I want to win,” he said. “I think everybody in this club wants to win, especially when it’s right at the tip of your fingers for the past couple years.”
QB returns to familar offence
Yantz will again lead an offence set up by one of junior football’s best play callers.
The Raiders officially announced Thursday the re-signing of Daryl Rodgers as offensive coordinator.
“He’s the only guy to go out and put up 500 points in a season; he’s done it twice,” said Blokker. “He produces all-stars in every position and his consistency in pass and run has never been touched by any other offensive coordinator in Canada.”
Raiders getting started
The V.I. Raiders’ spring camp runs Friday to Sunday (May 11-13) at Nanaimo District Secondary School. The team will hold an intrasquad game Sunday at 2 p.m. … For more of the News Bulletin’s coverage of the Raiders, please click here.