Redmen excited to face defending champs

Vancouver Island’s two best community football teams will try to get the upper hand on each other this weekend. The Nanaimo Redmen (3-1) and the Victoria Spartans (4-0) play Sunday (Oct. 2) at May Richards Bennett Pioneer Park.

Vancouver Island’s two best community football teams will try to get the upper hand on each other this weekend.

The Nanaimo Redmen (3-1) and the Victoria Spartans (4-0) play Sunday (Oct. 2) at May Richards Bennett Pioneer Park.

The matchup shapes up as one of the best home games of the Vancouver Mainland Football League season for the Redmen. The Spartans are defending champions, but they lost to the Redmen during the regular season last year and also lost to the red team this summer in pre-season action.

Nanaimo coach Sean Roden said there’s been a long-standing rivalry between the programs.

“We have a lot of respect for them, but there’s no doubt that we want to beat them every time we play them,” he said.

Both teams are capable on both sides of the ball. The Spartans are fourth in the league in offence and third in defence, while the Redmen are second in offence and first in defence.

Redmen veteran Taylor Saine said his team has “got to expect the best” this Sunday.

“They’re provincial champions, so we’re not going to take them lightly,” said the linebacker/safety. “This is one of the harder games of the year so obviously we want to set the tone and show the league where we stand.”

GAME ON … The Redmen and Spartans kick off at 3 p.m. at Pioneer Park in the city’s north end. The game is a doubleheader as Football Nanaimo’s bantams play Victoria at 1 p.m. … To read the Bulletin’s article on the Redmen from earlier this week, please click here.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com