Ukrainian-born linebacker Oleks Bobrovskyy impressed the Sun coaching staff at spring camp.

Sun intrigued by hard-nosed linebacker

17-year-old Grande Prairie product has strong skill set, could be key on Sun defence

Five years ago, Oleks Bobrovskyy knew next to nothing about North American football.

Hardly a surprise, considering the 17-year-old linebacker grew up in Ukraine where soccer, wrestling and basketball are among the European country’s most popular sports.

But since moving to Grande Prairie, Alta., back in 2008, Bobrovskyy has taken to the gridiron like a duck to water.

And if all goes as planned, the affable but hard-hitting 6-foot-1, 240-pound St. Joseph high school product will continue to see his game evolve wearing the colours of the Okanagan Sun.

Based on his impressions of Kelowna and the BCFC team following the Sun’s spring camp over the weekend, Bobrovskyy said there’s an excellent chance he will be back for main camp in July.

“I also went to Calgary Colts camp, and I have to say the intensity and talent of the players is better here, and I really like the coaches (with the Sun),” said Bobrovskyy, who played in this year’s Alberta Senior Bowl, a showcase for the province’s top players. “The overall image of the (Sun) team is good and I like the city a lot. I’d have to say right now this is my top choice.”

Defensive coordinator Nathan Mollard said Bobrovskyy fits the profile of the kind of player the Sun defense is looking for.

“He grasped the system pretty quick, but the nicest thing is he’s just a hard-nosed kid who’s going to go down and find the contact,” said Mollard. “That’s something we’ve been looking for for a number of years with the Sun. He’s very physical, a strong kid for his age. And he’s a great kid.”

If Bobrovskyy continues to work hard and refine his game, Mollard said the young Albertan could conceivably be the club’s starting middle linebacker come the Sun’s season opener.

If that happens, Bobrovskyy—and all of his Sun teammates—will be learning an entirely new defense this season.

Mollard said the Sun will do everything it can to  make life miserable for opposing offenses with a 3-3-6 formation, an unusual strategy for any team north of the border.

“You’re not going to see this defense anywhere in Canada,” he said. “It’s Americanized, you see it at South Carolina, West Virginia runs it, Arizona…it’s a fun defence to be a part of, a pressure defense, a turnover. The kids loved it this weekend.”


Just Posted

Column: Make it a green Christmas

Instead of purchasing a cuddly stuffie this year, put your money towards helping the real thing.

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

Kelowna city councillor suggests bringing back photo radar

Gail Given says it could help generate traffic fine revenue for the city—and make roads safer

‘Game changer” research deal between three B.C. Interior universities

UBCO, TRU, UNBC say deal will help innovation, research, aid students and increase quality of life

What’s happening

Find out about the events happening in your community this weekend

Interior Health holding immunization clinic in Vernon Saturday

IH issues list of Okanagan meningococcal immunization clinics

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Annual Christmas meal held as Kelowna Gospel Mission

The meal will be held tomorrow from 12 to 6 p.m.

Michaels: Big Brother has become a big letdown

“You have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide, but privacy should still have some appeal.”

One convicted, two cleared in 2014 deaths of men in B.C.’s Cariboo

Andrew Jongbloets convicted of manslaughter in deaths of Matthew Hennigar, 23 and Kalvin Andy, 22

Accused Shuswap drug smuggler to be extradited

Supreme Court of Canada upholds extradition order for accused Shuswap drug smuggler, Colin Martin

AHUS patient Shantee Anaquod is home for Christmas

Less than a month after receiving first dose of $750K drug, 23 year old healthy enough to go home

Most Read