Raiders, Rebels collide to start season

Nanaimo's V.I. Raiders face Victoria's Westshore Rebels in the first game of the CJFL season Saturday (Aug. 4) in Langford.

Week 1 of the football season would be a big deal, regardless of the matchup. But playing Victoria’s Westshore Rebels makes Week 1 even better.

“It really gets us fired up…” said Anthony Bienvenue, Raiders linebacker. “We never want to lose, especially to Victoria.”

Mostly, Nanaimo’s Canadian Junior Football League team wants to see how it fares in game action. B.C.’s other CJFL clubs all had exhibition games, but not the Raiders.

“Everybody wants to explode right now,” said Jordan Yantz, Raiders quarterback. “Everybody’s going to have that much more energy and that much more wanting to win … I’m excited to see everybody flying around.”

For the defensive players, especially, they’ll finally get an opportunity to hit at full force, something they didn’t get to do in July as they practised with their teammates.

“We’ve been banging on each other for a good two or three weeks now and everybody’s looking to see some fresh faces and put on some real hits,” said Glenn Boyce, Raiders linebacker. “Once you put that jersey on, everything gets real.”

GAME ON … The Raiders and Rebels kick off Saturday (Aug. 4) at 7 p.m. at Bear Mountain Stadium in Langford … A webcast of the game will be available live at www.viraiders.ca … To read a season preview article on the Raiders, please click here.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com