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V.I. Raiders reloading

NANAIMO – The Raiders tried out 112 players over three days at spring camp at Merle Logan Field.
V.I. Raiders receiver Alex Kutra

The V.I. Raiders can tell a lot from this past weekend’s spring camp.

“Anyone that’s a Raider fan should be really excited about this 2013 team,” said Matthew (Snoop) Blokker, Raiders coach. “We’re going to be balanced and big and lots of speed and lots of talent and lots of hunger and passion.”

The Raiders tried out 112 players over three days at Merle Logan Field. The coaching staff was joined by a battery of alumni guest coaches and the group compared notes to try to figure out which players to invite back to main camp in the summer. Blokker said since many of the guest coaches were in Nanaimo from out of town, the group was up until almost 5 a.m. Sunday morning discussing the roster.

“It’s the toughest decisions in the world, right? So hopefully we make the right ones,” Blokker said.

The Raiders look as though they will again have a lot of weapons on offence.

Veteran receivers Dustin Rodriguez and Whitman Tomusiak were leaders on the weekend, and at least four quarterbacks at camp were particularly impressive.

Jahmari Bennett, one of the QB standouts, was impressed with what he saw at his first Raiders camp.

“We were definitely getting after it this weekend,” he said. “The competition was pretty good. Everyone brought a focus to this camp that I felt when I got here.”

Tyler Oldendorf, veteran offensive lineman, had a strong camp leading a new-look unit. He liked the talent on the O line and said overall the Raiders got off to a strong start at spring camp.

“There’s a lot of good players out here, there’s a lot of good competition and I’m really looking forward to [seeing] everybody who comes back,” he said.

GRID BITS … The B.C. Football Conference season starts July 27. For season ticket information, visit

Greg Sakaki

About the Author: Greg Sakaki

I have been in the community newspaper business for two decades, all of those years with Black Press Media.
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