Daniel Fung Football BC Examiner, July 7, 2011
The road to gold for the British Columbia provincial under-18 team will go through Team Manitoba when Team BC opens the 2011 Football Canada Cup tournament this Saturday, July 9 at the University of Lethbridge Community Stadium in Lethbridge, Alberta.
Kickoff is at 12 pm PT (1 pm local in Lethbridge). The game can be viewed online at www.canadafootballchat.com.
This year marks the second consecutive year that British Columbia has fielded a team at the Football Canada Cup. Prior to making a return in 2010, British Columbia did not participate in the tournament from 2001 to 2009.
Despite a lenghty absence, Team BC finished third at the 2010 tournament held in Nova Scotia capturing the bronze medal. They have their sights set higher this time around.
“Going home with the gold this time,” said offensive lineman Mason Woods, who is one of three players along with RB Terrell Davis and DB Deion Bain [WJ Mouat Hawks] returning from last year’s bronze medal winning squad.
One of the biggest disadvantages Team BC had heading into last year’s tournament was the fact the majority of their players had to adjust to playing Canadian rules football. High School football players in BC play American rules football while Community football players in BC play Canadian rules.
Although the majority of this year’s squad once again comes from the BC High School ranks, Team BC offensive coordinator Jay Prepchuk does not believe that adjusting to Canadian rules will be problematic for his players.
“I think the guys in our camp in May certainly didn’t have the trouble adjusting with it,” said Prepchuk. “We do have a few players that have played Community football so they know what they’re doing as far as the Canadian game is concerned.
“But really it just comes down to executing – blocking and tackling and throwing the ball properly. It is a bit of an adjustment for them but when it’s all said they’ve just got to get out there and execute.”
Prepchuk also does not see any difficulty with the team getting fired up for their tournament opener against Manitoba despite the fact the two teams did not cross paths last year. Manitoba finished in sixth place at the 2010 Football Canada Cup.
“Usually that motivation is innate and internal and we’re hoping that they’ll be pumped up and ready to go,” said Prepchuk.
The winner of the contest between BC and Manitoba will go on to face the winner of the game between Ontario East and Quebec on Tuesday.
2011 Team BC Media Guide