Forget back to school ads. The best way to know September is around the corner can be seen at the W.J. Mouat football field beginning next week.
The Hawks Triple-A varsity football team kicks off its weeklong training camp on Monday, and there is certainly no shortage of motivation with this year’s squad.
The Hawks are coming off back-to-back Subway Bowl Triple-A championship losses, the most recent being a 39-36 heartbreaker to the Centennial Centaurs of Coquitlam in an instant classic played in subzero temperatures at the McLeod Athletic Park in Langley last December.
“We’ve got several kids returning from that team and I think there’s a lot of motivation to finish it off this year,” said the Hawks longstanding head coach Denis Kelly.
“We think this year will be a good opportunity for us to win the title. There’s going to be some good competition though. You can’t just waltz through this, it wouldn’t be worth it.”
Despite Centennial once again gaining strength in every aspect and a revamped Terry Fox Ravens program, which claimed the title of 2008 high school champs over Mouat, this year will be as good a chance as any for the Hawks to make it back to the final four.
And the one key ingredient Kelly is hoping will result in a recipe for success is a strong contingent of returnees.
Quarterback Cam Bedore, who led a massive aerial assault that nearly completed the comeback against the Centaurs in last year’s title game, will be back, as will the Hawks’ top two receivers from a year ago, John Watson and Desmond Bassi.
“We’ve got an excellent offence but I think also a lot of those guys are great defensive players as well,” said Kelly of the team’s depth, a Mouat trademark for teams past and present.
“The guys are battle tested and we’re hoping we can pick up where we left off and take it all the way this year.”