Before the team even takes to the field in pursuit of their first Cullen Cup this Saturday (Oct. 29), the Westshore Rebels have already secured a bunch of individual hardware.
Following a tremendously successful 8-1-1 campaign, four members of the Rebels organization were named winners of B.C. Football Conference awards over the past week.
“We’re very thankful that some of our athletes have been highlighted,” said Rebels head coach J.C. Boice.
As expected, record-setting running back Jamel Lyles took home both the league’s award for top offensive backfield player and outstanding offensive player. Lyles compiled 1,604 yards on the ground and a staggering 2,360 all-purpose yards in 10 regular season games.
Boice says he always knew Lyles had a lot of talent on the football field, but it’s the Surrey native’s growth outside of the game that has been especially impressive.
“He’s really grown up in terms of being aware of his impact on the team, his actions, and the example he sets,” Boice said.
Paving the way for those numbers was the work of Christian Krause, who was named the BCFC’s top offensive lineman.
“He’s a big, strong powerful guy who’s very committed to his teammates and committed to his craft,” Boice said.
“Christian’s a very special kid. He’s a very dynamic athlete, but in addition to that great talent he’s been gifted, you have tremendous work ethic. He’s hungry to be exceptional and you also have a character with him where he really does put his teammates first.”
For his part in the Rebels’ turnaround, Boice was named coach of the year, although the second-year Rebels coach doesn’t see his honour as being an individual award.
“Our coaching staff got coach of the year…those (awards) are about the coaching staff. That’s a great group of guys,” he said.
Rebels back given honour for work on and off the field
Capping the winners for the Rebels was running back Ryan Allard, who earned the Ron White Award for his dedication to football, both on and off the field.
The Victoria native says he was taken by surprise when he learned that he had been named this year’s recipient.
“I found out when I was at lunch at work. I checked my Facebook and it was blowing up,” he said.
“I’m quite happy to get it. It means a lot to me.”
Remarkably, Allard participated in every one of the Rebels’ many community events, volunteering for the B.C. Children’s Hospital Kids Day fundraiser, the Rebels kids football camp and the Langford Legion Remembrance Day services, among others, over the past year.
“(When) you put something out there to our team where you’ve got an opportunity to serve here in the community, he’s always the first guy to volunteer. He’s the first one to be there and the last one to leave,” Boice said.
Allard says his willingness to participate in all of the Rebels’ community events comes from a desire to help both his team and his community.
“I never felt like I needed to go do it, I always just wanted to help out as much as I (could),” he said.
(The events) were just another thing I could help out with, to contribute to my team and contribute to the community a little bit. If I could spend a half hour or two hours doing that, well that’s alright with me.”