Team B.C. under-18 defensive co-ordinator Alexis Sanschagrin

Football Bulldogs strut stuff in Vegas

Trio of West Shore players gain great experience as part of Team B.C. program

Belmont Bulldogs players gained valuable game experience and helped give those south of the border a taste of the quality of B.C. football, during the inaugural High Roller Football Showdown in Las Vegas.

Team B.C.’s under-18 squad, which included Grade 11 Bulldogs lineman Dontae Bull and defensive specialist Brett Milligan, led throughout in beating Team Vegas USA 23-20.

Grade 10 Belmont student Nathaniel Blondeau was a starting receiver on the U16 Team B.C. that beat the San Jose Hitsquad 28-0, after dropping their opener 14-6 to Team Vegas. The games, including two involving a Grade 8 B.C. team, took place Jan. 20.

Not only did the school send three players to this international football showcase, Belmont head coach and six-year Team B.C. coach Alexis Sanschagrin served as defensive co-ordinator for the U18 team. That unit gave up just two touchdowns to the talented and athletic Las Vegas offence.

Sanschagrin said Belmont generally has between 15 and 20 players per year commit to what, for those who make the final cuts, is a year-long process. The program begins with initial tryouts at sites around the province, involving roughly 400 players – a Victoria session happens Feb. 21. That number gets cut down to about 100 for a May long weekend skills camp. It’s further cut to about 50, then come December coaches select the top 35 players in each age group to represent B.C. in international competition.

“It’s great for the ones who make it all the way to the end, but the process of measuring yourself and seeking out the challenge (benefits all players),” Sanschagrin said.

Playing for Team B.C. is good for young players, he added, as it gives them a chance to experience American competition and see what type of athletes those programs produce.

As for Bull, Milligan and Blondeau, he said each has good potential, but the Team B.C. exposure “allows them to believe in themselves and show that they can compete at that level.”

Vancouver Island was well represented in Las Vegas. Belmont, Mount Douglas, Nanaimo’s John Barsby and Parksville’s Ballenas secondaries collectively placed 10 players and two coaches on the U18 team, seven players on the U16s and six on the Grade 8 squad.

Belmont’s senior team will be boosted by the return of the Team B.C. trio next fall, not to mention the collection of players who attend tryout camps leading up to winter 2017 competitive road trip.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Invasive crab spotted near Sooke

Fisheries need more data to know if numbers are increasing

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Credit card frauds target local businesses: VicPD

Crime Reduction Unit investigating several frauds costing several businesses over $50,000

Fatherhood draws Victoria man to publish Tsimshian colouring book for children

Leon McFadden is working on 11 more books to finish the horoscope series

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying?

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Most Read