Mike Godwin's Mt. Boucherie Bears open the new B.C. high school football regular season Friday in Abbotsford against W.J. Mouat.

Stern schedule challenges Central Okanagan football teams

New alignment in B.C. high school football has Mt. Boucherie, KSS and Rutland playing in Eastern Conference

Unlike past years, the Central Okanagan’s three AAA football teams will be getting a full dose of Lower Mainland opponents during the 2013 regular season.

The Mt. Boucherie Bears, Kelowna Owls and Rutland Voodoos are set to kick off the new campaign this weekend as members of B.C. high school football’s newly-aligned Eastern Conference.

The Okanagan AAA conference was disbanded for this season when the Salmon Arm Golds dropped out.

Bears’ head coach Mike Godwin counts himself among the proponents of the new conference alignment which features seven regular season games—five against Coastal teams and two against Okanagan opponents.

“It’s going to be tougher, that’s for sure,” said Godwin. “It’s better football, but that’s how you get better. I think it’s going to be good for all of the teams in the interior.”

Boucherie Bears @ Mouat

The Bears, who went 6-0 during the 2012 regular season, will be tested in their season opener on Friday afternoon as they travel to Abbotsford to take on the W.J. Mouat Hawks.

Mouat’s attack features Maleek Irons, considered by many as the best high school running back in the country.

Irons rushed for more than 3,200 yards in 12 games last season and has already piled up 787 yards in three preseason games.

“It sounds kind of ridiculous but if we can limit him to 200 yards or less, we’ll be doing well,” Godwin said of Irons. “They’re an awesome team, but at the same time our defence has been surprisingly good this year. We’ll see what we can do against them.”

The Bears more than held their own in preseason, losing 33-28 to perennial powerhouse Van College, then beating Notre Dame 24-8 last Friday night at the Apple Bowl.

Ben Minaker threw a pair of TD passes—one each to Spencer Humes and Cole Geisler—and ran for another. On defense, Brock Zeleniski had six tackles and a pair of sacks.

In junior varsity action, Boucherie whipped N.D. 40-8.  Zac Callaghan led a dominant defense with six tackles and two sacks, while Dayton Moore caught two touchdown passes from quarter Tyler Toic.

KSS Owls @ Lord Tweedsmuir

The Owls will kick off the season Friday afternoon in Surrey against the Lord Tweedmuir Panthers.

Tweedmuir’s attack revolves around running back Jamel Lyles, regarded as one of the best players in B.C.

“They’re a solid team, we’ll have our hands full but we’ll try to find a way to shut him down,” said Owls coach Shane Sommerfeld. “We have to hope to stay healthy, control the ball and the clock and keep their offence off the field.”

The Owls are young this season with three Grade 10 players starting in the defensive secondary. Injuries have also been a problem in the preseason with four two-way starters missing last week’s 39-13 exhibition loss at South Delta.

KSS quarterback Shawn Gordon connected with Grade 10 receiver Parker Simson with two touchdown passes to account for the Owls’ scoring.

The Owls went 1-1 in preseason.

Rutland Voodoos @ Terry Fox

Pete McCall’s Voodoos will be in Coquitlam Friday to take on the Terry Fox Ravens in a tough, early-season test.

The Ravens are ranked No. 2 in B.C.

“We are definitely going to learn a lot this weekend,” said McCall, in his second tour of duty as the Voodoos’ head coach. “Hopefully playing the best early on will help us get up to speed, and get us ready for what will be a challenging year in this new eastern AAA conference.”

The Voodoos finished the regular season with a 1-0-1 record after playing to a 14-14 tie with Vernon’s Clarence Fulton on a blistering hot Friday afternoon at RSS.

Down 14-7, Mitch Walz hit Matt Walz with a TD pass midway through the fourth quarter for Rutland. Jason Varga converted the extra point to earn the tie.

Justice Dovich scored the other major on a pass from Mitch Walz.


Just Posted

Fire ignites at Kelowna homeless camp

No one was hurt in the incident, RCMP are investigating the cause of the fire

UPDATE: Kelowna mayoral candidates talk about crime

Candidates talk about an issue on many city residents’ minds—how to deal with crime downtown

Film exposing effects of Canadian mining company to be shown in Kelowna

Hudbay Minerals’ legacy of lead poisoning, and civil-suits including allegations of murder, rape and shootings

Kelowna councillor candidate drops out of race

Curtis Cinibel confirms he is withdrawing the civic election after filing paper to run

Okanagan College hosts 10th annual Powwow

The Kelowna campus will once again host the event Sept. 20

Store recognized for inclusive employment efforts

Shoppers Drug Mart in Summerland presented with certificate from WorkBC

Fresh-faced Flames fend off Canucks 4-1

Vancouver drops second straight NHL exhibition contest

VIDEO: B.C. deer struggles with life-preserver caught in antlers

Campbell River resident captures entangled deer on camera

Scheer pushes Trudeau to re-start Energy East pipeline talks

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer questioned the Prime Minister over Trans Mountain project

Mistaken identity: Missing dog claimed in Moose Jaw belongs to another family

Brennen Duncan was reunited with a white Kuvasz that was found in Saskatchewan

Abandoned kitten safe and sound thanks to B.C. homeless man

‘Jay’ found little black-and-white kitten in a carrier next to a dumpster by a Chilliwack pet store

Police chief defends controversial marijuana seizure

Advocates said cannabis was part of an opioid-substitution program in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

Trans Mountain completes Burrard Inlet spill exercise

Training required, some work continues on pipeline expansion

Supporters of B.C. man accused of murdering Belgian tourist pack courtoom

Family and friends of Sean McKenzie, 27, filled the gallery for brief court appearance in Chilliwack

Most Read