The wait is pretty much over for Shane Beatty.
Nearly four months after first arriving in Kelowna, the new head coach of the Okanagan Sun will finally see the fruits of his labours when his club takes on the Chilliwack Huskers Saturday night at the Apple Bowl.
Based on what he’s seen after hundreds of hours and preparation, including three weeks of training camp, Beatty is positive and upbeat about the 2013 B.C. Football Conference season.
“I feel really good about our team right now,” said Beatty, who played with the Sun in 1990. “We had a great practise Wednesday night, one of the best we’ve had. The guys are tired of hitting each other, so I had to challenge them a little and they came through very well. The boys look like they’re ready to go.”
Under Beatty, the 2013 edition of the Sun looks considerably different than the one that went an anaemic 3-7 under Gavin Lake last season, with about half of this year’s roster being newcomers.
With a plethora of 18 and 19-year-old players, the Sun will be one of the youngest teams in the BCFC.
Still, Beatty is encouraged by the overall talent level of his team.
“We really like our receivers and our secondary, and our D-line is looking pretty good, too. I feel really good about the skill we have. All our first stringers are very good.”
As for the Chilliwack Huskers, the Sun face a team which has won just two games over the last three seasons and is 0-21 in head-to-head match-ups with the Sun.
However, the numbers don’t mean much to Beatty.
“They’re an improved team,” Beatty said. “But we concern ourselves more with our own preparation rather than who we’re playing. We’re a young team and my only concern is mental mistakes. If we can stay away from those, we’ll be fine.”
Kick off Saturday at the Apple Bowl is 7 p.m.