V.I. Raiders can’t wait for season to start

Nanaimo’s Canadian Junior Football League team is preparing for the coming season with weekly workouts at Comox Field.

The V.I. Raiders don’t limit themselves to the confines of football season.

Nanaimo’s Canadian Junior Football League team is preparing for the coming season with weekly workouts at Comox Field.

Players aren’t asked to report until main camp, which is exactly four weeks away, but guys who are in Nanaimo now are benefiting from the practice time.

Matthew (Snoop) Blokker, Raiders coach, said players are looking good for this time of year.

“We’re pretty excited about the guys that are here,” said Blokker. “They’ve proven once again that they’re excited about the season and how important it is, with the off-season training and work they’ve put in.”

At this stage of the off-season, the coach said players are mostly just working on fundamentals – things like footwork and stance, for example – and conditioning. That’s one area where the return of defensive coordinator Doug Hocking to the coaching staff will be felt by Raiders players.

“Coach Hawk is back so they understand there’s going to be a lot of conditioning and running and we’re going to once again do our best to be a football team that’s in great shape,” Blokker said.

The positive practices, plus an influx of new players and new talent, has the Raiders encouraged for this summer.

“It’s built momentum and excitement and we just can’t wait to get going,” Blokker said.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com