Spring football camp may still be another seven weeks away, but that isn’t stopping members of the Belmont Bulldogs from getting an early jump on being ready.
More than 30 players are lifting weights after school on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and running on Tuesdays and Thursdays. “The guys are fully committed and on board,” said Bulldogs head coach Alexis Sanschagrin, adding that many of the students are also involved in other sports at this time of year.
Over spring break some players took part in a local receivers camp featuring Saskatchewan Roughriders wide receiver and former Mount Douglas Rams player Alex Carroll, who is entering his second year in the Canadian Football League.
“Seeing someone who has come through where they have, and seeing the work ethic and the dream of professional football … seeing someone who is doing that and loving that and looks like them (Carroll is 24) inspires them,” Sanschagrin said.
Also over spring break, a pair of Bulldogs represented the program well at Senior Bowl week on the mainland. Grade 12s Torin Keoughan and Devo-Nelms-Horton took part in a week of practice and the game. Keoughan won best running back for the game, while lineman Nelms-Horton earned one of the daily awards given after each day’s practice.
“They’ve done all the right things in the program, and they’re good role models for the younger players,” Sanschagrin said.
Skill building and player development are a big part of the Belmont program. In February, the Bulldogs sent the most players, 15, of any school to the Team B.C. tryout camp.
The Bulldogs have invited the Spectrum Thunder and Mission Roadrunners, who will move up to the AAA level for the upcoming season, to spring camp which starts on May 27. The camp winds up with a football jamboree on June 3 at Goudy Field.
Team building is also part of the development process. As part of that, players are sleeping overnight at the school on Friday night.
Help out the program
• Belmont Bulldogs football is hosting a bottle drive Saturday (April 9) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the parking lot of Belmont secondary, 3041 Langford Lake Rd. Money raised goes to defray the costs of running the program.