Hawks running back Dion Pellerin runs for yardage against the Abby Panthers last week. Pellerin is expected to be a key offensive player for Mouat.— Image Credit: John Morrow
By Ben Lypka, Abbotsford News, Sept 28 2015
There are big shoes to fill at W.J. Mouat Secondary, but new football head coach Travis Bell is up for the challenge.
Bell is taking over the reins of the football program this year after longtime coach Dennis Kelly moved on to a role with the SFU Clan football team this May.
Kelly started Mouat’s football program in 1987 and helped lead the Hawks to three provincial championships. Bell knows firsthand the type of coach Kelly is – he played under him for several years as a Hawk and graduated in 2005.
“It’s a huge challenge to take over for Dennis but we’re not reinventing the wheel,” he said. “I learned a lot from how he did things and we’re going to continue to do things that way. I was very fortunate to have learned from him.”
He’s no stranger to the football program at Mouat, as Kelly was heavily involved with the junior varsity team. He sees a lot of promise for the Hawks this year and in the coming years.
“I think we’ve got a solid group of Grade 12s and a large group of Grade 11s that are ready to go,” he said. “It’s a new staff and a new system, so it’s a bit of a learning year for us. We’re all trying to figure everything out and we’ve been getting better every game. I’m looking forward to seeing where we are at the end of it.”
Kelly said his key players include running back and linebacker Dion Pellerin, quarterback Noah Dietrich and wide receivers Elijah Falconer and Colton Barker.
He said making the AAA playoffs are a goal, but the team will take it one week at a time.
“I think we can surprise some people by the end of the year,” he said.
The Hawks were eliminated in the first round of the AAA playoffs last year and battled injuries all season. Kelly hopes to improve on last year’s showing.
Mouat posted a record of one win and one loss in preseason action and kick off AAA regular season competition on Friday when they travel to Burnaby to play St. Thomas More Collegiate. The team’s home opener is on Oct. 2 against Terry Fox. Regular home games for the Hawks occur on Friday’s at 7:30 p.m. at Mouat Secondary.