Cam Tucker, The Times
Friday, August 28, 2009
As Allan Dicks and Tyler Declare posed for pictures – or attempted to anyway – by the water cooler on Wednesday, one might’ve forgotten they were in the midst of another two-a-day football practice in the summer heat.
Forget the modeling career, as the W.J. Mouat Hawks varsity football team began training camp on Monday, and head coach Denis Kelly couldn’t be more pleased that his team is having fun, despite having spent nearly a full day on the football field since the week began.
“I think they’re working hard and they enjoy being out here,” said Kelly following Wednesday’s practice.
“I think they’re anticipating a great year and. . . they’re happy to be back with their friends after the summer.”
Dicks, now in Grade 12, turned enough heads last year with his offensive play to garner even higher expectations from his coach, and he echoed those thoughts.
“It’s just football,” Dicks joked.
“You know, it gets you in a good mood, despite how sore you are and how tired you are, it’s just good to be around all the guys and play football.”
With summer’s end quickly approaching, the start of the B.C. Triple-A football season is doing just the same, and Kelly felt that with a strong contingent of returning players and guys coming to camp in top shape, the bar has again been set high for this year’s team.
“I think the kids. . . it’s their expectation to win and we’re expecting to get back to that championship game,” Kelly said.
“To do that, though, we just make sure that we are prepared for all of our games, and I think we’ll be fine.”
Although expectations really haven’t changed from last year, there have been some notable personnel changes with the graduation of stars like Justin Chapdelaine and Boseko Lokombo.
Given how dominant Lokombo was in 2008, averaging 13.95 yards per carry to compliment the 12 touchdowns he scored, finding replacements would seem next to impossible.
Oh contrary, said Kelly.
“The combination will be more balanced this year between Allan [Dicks] and Drew Chung,” said the head coach.
“Those are two quality, very quick backs that are a little bit of a different style. We don’t quite have the power that Lokombo had, but they’re both fast, aggressive kids and they worked exceptionally hard in the off-season, so I think they will carry the load for Bo.”
At the quarterback position, the Hawks will have the benefit of two options in Grade 11’s Cam Bedore and Braden Churley.
Both were key contributors in the Hawks junior varsity 2008 provincial title.
“They’re both quite talented,” Kelly said.
At the risk of creating a quarterbacking controversy like one that seems to circulate over the B.C. Lions every year, Kelly said the two would likely see equal playing time this season.
The possibility of constant shuffling at the QB position during a game seems like it might cause some confusion, but Dicks doesn’t feel that way.
“I’ve played a couple of years with Cam, and Brady was in our training group and they both have their strengths you can utilize,” he said