V.I. Raiders do things differently

The Vancouver Island Raiders held their first practice Tuesday at Comox Field as they prepare for their season opener Aug. 4.

V.I. Raiders player Prince Hylton

V.I. Raiders player Prince Hylton

B.C.’s six-time reigning champs don’t mind fiddling with a winning formula.

The Vancouver Island Raiders held their first practice Tuesday at Comox Field as they prepare for their season opener Aug. 4 in Victoria.

Usually, Nanaimo’s Canadian Junior Football League team gets started with an exhaustive main camp and then gets into a daily practice routine. This year, it’s the other way around.

“We looked at what’s the best way the Raiders can come out of the gate and how can we be as effective and execute as best as we can come Game 1,” said Matthew (Snoop) Blokker, Raiders coach.

The team wasn’t able to find an exhibition game this year, so that was one of the reasons why the Raiders decided to schedule things this way.

And hey, sometimes change is good, said the coach.

“It changes the thought process and it changes the program so then people aren’t just going through the motions,” said Blokker. “It’s something new.”

Veteran quarterback Jordan Yantz said a week and a half of repetitions will help the learning curve and make main camp less stressful.

“Mainly we’re just getting a head start here, kind of getting the wheels turning and giving guys a couple more reps and gettting used to things a little bit more,” he said.

The practices might help players be physically ready for camp, and mentally ready, too, Blokker said.

“Guys are going to know what they’re doing, they’re going to know their positions and I think that’s going to lead to us having a way more intense camp and preparing us better for Week 1.”

GRID BITS … The Raiders have a fundraiser car wash Saturday (July 21) from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at Harris Mitsubishi. Players and Raider Girls dance team members will be there. The V.I. Raiders kick off the 2012 regular season Aug. 4 in Victoria against the Westshore Rebels.


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