Football starts for real for the Nanaimo Redmen this weekend, and there will be plenty of playing time to go around.
The city’s midget squad plays the expansion Comox Valley Raiders in Vancouver Mainland Football League action on Sunday (Sept. 1).
The Redmen will be ready, though they haven’t been able to be quite as productive at practice as they would have liked.
“Our roster is fairly small and with not very good attendance [at practice], it’s been very difficult…” said Sean Roden, the team’s coach. “Every year it gets tougher and tougher, where they want to stretch out their summers. There’s some real talent that has said they want to play.”
The roster, as it stands now, still features a ton of playmakers.
“I think that we have a lot more depth of talent both in the passing game and in the run game than we had last year,” Roden said.
Lineman Chae Faickney and quarterback Jonah Wassell lead the offence. Marcus Severe, the younger brother of former V.I. Raider Rockenson Angrand, will be one of the primary ball carriers and Jacob Odynsky will also run the ball. Riley Savard and David Work will share fullback duties and Payton Paladini and Dylan Sanford will be a couple of go-to receivers.
Linebacker Ethan Schulz is central to a defence that will be effective at stopping the run. Work will join Schulz in the linebacking corps and Odynsky has looked good at the defensive halfback position.
GRID BITS … Nanaimo and Comox play at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at May Richards Bennett Pioneer Park. Admission is free. The game is the second half of a doubleheader, as there will be a bantam game at 11:30 a.m. between the Island Reddogs and the Comox Raiders. The Reddogs are a Nanaimo-Cowichan team, a combination of Redmen and Bulldogs.