Belmont secondary graduate Matt Pastro is joined by Bulldogs football coach Kevin Harrington

Belmont football scholarship returns to Pastro family

Younger son of Westshore Rebels president collects post-secondary tuition helper

Rein Eberle may have passed away more than 12 years ago, but his legacy has not been forgotten.

As an avid volunteer in the community, Eberle was passionate about youth sports, especially football. He served on the board for the Victoria Rebels (now known as the Westshore Rebels), an organization both his sons played for while they attended Belmont secondary.

“He believed in football players advancing to the next level and advancing their education,” said Elise Pastro, current Rebels president. “Both Rein and (his wife) Lorna were actively involved with the Rebels.”

After his death in 2003, the $1,000 Rein Eberle football scholarship was established for a graduating Belmont student. To be eligible, a student must not only be an active player or volunteer in football and demonstrate athletic promise and superior skill, they must be continuing on to post-secondary education.

Pastro said the Eberles was determined to keep a youth football league running, even with all of the complications and problems that came up. “They believed in keeping that team available for their boys,” she said of the couple.

When Eberle wasn’t tossing around the pigskin, he was an active participant in education, spending 20 years as the personnel manager for the Sooke School District. This is where his path crossed for the first time with Pastro, who was an educational assistant at the time.

Her younger son, Matt, was awarded this year’s Eberle scholarship, and was the second of Pastro’s boys to win the award, following brother Chris, who has played the past few seasons with the Rebels.

Matt, who turned down an offer to play for the University of Alberta next season, came back from a dehabilitating knee injury that required reconstructive surgery and cost him his grade 11 year of play to finish his grade 12 year playing for Belmont.

Instead of heading off to Alberta, he chose to stay closer to home this fall and signed-on to play for the Rebels while attending Camosun College.

“As a single mom this was a significant help for both my boys,” Pastro said.

Much like in Eberle’s time, she added, volunteering is still an integral part of their program. “It’s everything. Some would say that I expect them to volunteer too much.”

As for the players, she said, the team’s coaching staff and volunteer board members are teaching them how to be contributing members of society. “Volunteering is such a random act of kindness that is just unmeasurable.”

The players don’t just volunteer for football-related activities. They recently covered everything from selling 50-50 tickets to scorekeeping at a championship soccer game, giving parents a chance to sit down and watch their children, cheering them on to a win in the big game.

kengqvist@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Belmont senior girls volleyball team heads to provincials

Team set its sights on repeating as champions

City of Colwood considers plastic bag ban

Bylaw must be brought forward for public input before adoption

Widow of chef killed by SUV gives birth to twin boys

Khushal Rana was struck and killed by an out-of-control vehicle on Gorge Road last month

Songhees youth among those recognized by province for achievement in sport

Team BC athletes in North American Indigenous Games, Canada Summer Games recognized

Premier asks for re-do on Highway 14 study

A study on Highway 14 improvement has been delayed for a second… Continue reading

VIDEO: Innovating healthier homes

NZ Builders bring commercial concept into residential realm to improve energy efficiency and health

David Cassidy, teen idol and ‘Partridge Family’ star, dies at 67

Cassidy announced earlier this year he had been diagnosed with dementia

Vic High students take Saanich-reared comic’s words on mental illness to heart

School counsellors see uptick in visits after Kevin Breel relays his depression story

Vigil held for woman whose remains were found on Shuswap farm

Family and friends remember Vernon resident Traci Genereaux and along with five other missing women

Brewers create anti-fascist ale

Not For Nazis Nut Brown Ale made in the Shuswap will be ready in time for Christmas

LETTER: Jumbo Valley is part of Ktunaxa territorial claim

Ktunaxa Nation Council responds to Tom Fletcher column

3,800-plant grow-op busted on First Nation reserve

Three men face charges after RCMP bust a large drug operation on the Soowahlie Reserve near Chilliwack

VIDEO: Government approves funding of $750,000 drug for B.C. woman

Approval comes one day after province announces funding for Soliris on a case-by-case basis

This week’s wanted in Greater Victoria for Nov. 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read