When Jon Weaver isn’t at the army base in Esquimalt, he’s in Langford coaching football.
During the day he is a mobile support equipment operator and after work he can be found at Bear Mountain Stadium coaching two Victoria Spartans teams. He also coaches a West Shore Warriors team in the spring league.
This volunteer work can span up to six days a week. Coaching two teams at once adds up with each team practising twice a week, on top of weekend games.
“My coach is the best, he’s just the best,” said 12-year-old tackle, Elijah Leversedge. “He teaches us how to do blitzes and he is really good with the recievers.”
It’s Weaver’s first year coaching the peewee and junior bantam Spartans teams. He is also the defensive co-ordinator for both teams which means more hours reading play books and rosters.
“I go to the field straight from work,” said Weaver, 23. “It keeps me busy.”
Weaver moved to Langford from Cambridge, Ont. in November 1999. He joined the army when he was 19. Moving across the country for work, Weaver left his friends and family behind. But he brought his passion for football with him.
Most other Spartan coaches are fathers of the players, but Weaver likes what he’s doing and feels he is making a difference in the player’s lives.
“On our team we take into consideration the kids’ marks,” Weaver said. “If a kid is not doing well in school we deal with it on the field by benching them for a game or giving them minimum play.”
Through his experience coaching Weaver has also seen the players build confidence and self-esteem.
“He is a wonderful young man, he’s great to have with us,” said Spartans vice president Clancy Keoughan. “The kids absolutely adore him. He is very dedicated.”
Weaver played football all through high school. In Grade 11 he started coaching teams at his high school. He used the hours accumulated to account for community service needed for his high school diploma.
When not working or coaching, it’s important to Weaver to stay active and he plays hockey and baseball.