Quarterback Scott Borden and running back Trey Campbell are two returnees who are poised to make a difference.
Borden played half of the year with the Rebels in 2016, taking a share of the snaps under centre over the team’s opening six games and accounting for seven touchdowns through the air and on the ground before leaving the club.
Borden says he’s glad to be back in Victoria and called this weekend’s training camp “intense”.
“We had great preparation. Everyone was ready and in shape and ready to go,” he said. “I think we’re going to have another successful year.”
Joining Borden in the backfield is Campbell, who helped give the Rebels a dynamic rushing attack in 2016 that was easily the club’s biggest strength.
Campbell posted 743 rushing yards and 162 receiving yards across 11 regular season and playoff games and, with fellow rusher Jamel Lyles not returning, says he’s ready for a full workload.
“I know what I have to work on from last season…I’m just going to try and take on a bigger role this year,” he said, adding that he’s been working hard in the gym with Shane Beattie, the club’s defensive coordinator and strength and conditioning guru.
Head coach Charly Cardilicchia failed to hold back a wide grin when speaking to reporters about both Borden and Campbell.
“The football gods blessed me with a little gift one day [when] Scott Borden gave me a call. I was over the moon estatic to hear that he was available and willing to come back,” he said.
“[Campbell] looks really nice. He’s a very explosive running back. One-on-one there will be nobody in the country that’s going to be able to handle this guy on a consistent basis. He can score from anywhere on the field.”
The first-year Rebels boss was pleased with how the weekend went overall.
“The guys digested the system really fast and learned really well. We’ve got some really good, explosive athletes and some good depth,” he said.
One area where the Rebels could use a little help is with regards to housing its players. The Greater Victoria rental market continues to be a challenging one and the club is short on billets for the season. Anyone interested in becoming a billet is encouraged to visit the team’s website at westshorerebels.ca/billeting-housing.