Quinten Eugene evades a tackle during a scrimmage at Westhills Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Westshore Rebels coaches and a pair of CFLers led an afternoon of football activities as part of a kick-off event for the Greater Victoria Minor Football Association. Joel Tansey/News Gazette staff

Quinten Eugene evades a tackle during a scrimmage at Westhills Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Westshore Rebels coaches and a pair of CFLers led an afternoon of football activities as part of a kick-off event for the Greater Victoria Minor Football Association. Joel Tansey/News Gazette staff

Westshore Rebels and CFLers lead football fun day

Young players gather for pre-season camp at Westhills Stadium

A pair of Canadian Football League pros were among the mentors for a group of Greater Victoria Minor Football Association players gathered for a Saturday skills camp at Westhills Stadium in Langford.

Calgary Stampeders linebacker Dexter Janke and former B.C. Lions offensive lineman Tim O’Neill joined Westshore Rebels and association coaches in leading an afternoon of drills, friendly competition and a flag football scrimmage.

Rookie Rebels head coach Charly Cardilicchia led a junior bantam rep team for 20 seasons prior to taking the job with the reigning B.C. Football Conference champions.

“One of the nicest things about this is I’ve built up a really good group of young leaders, so I’ve got former players in our spring league who are now coaches,” he said. “To see that type of leadership in place is definitely a happy thing for me … It’s tough moving on, but I’ll definitely still be closely connected.”

Janke sounded pleased with how the afternoon went with the kids, praising them for their enthusiasm and attentiveness. “The biggest thing is discipline,” he said, when asked what skills he hoped to impart. “Discipline and having respect for anybody that’s just trying to help you out in any way.”

Cardilicchia appreciated having Janke and O’Neill there. “That’s the connection. That’s the spirit of giving back to the game,” the Rebels coach said. “It just goes to show what this game’s really all about.”

The Greater Victoria Minor Football Association is for players from kindergarten to Grade 8. The spring season began over the weekend, with clubs from West Shore, Sooke, Victoria, Saanich, Gordon Head, Cowichan Ladysmith, Nanaimo and Campbell River participating.

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