For the Westshore Rebels, the long and arduous road towards a title defense begins this weekend.
The defending B.C. Football Conference champions and Canadian Bowl runner-ups will have a new coach and plenty of new faces on the field as they take part in a three-day spring camp beginning tomorrow.
Head coach Charly Cardilicchia is entering his first season as the team’s sideline boss – although he’s no stranger to coaching with the Rebels – having replaced JC Boice over the winter.
Joining Cardilicchia on the sidelines will be the returning Shane Beatty, who is expected to run the team’s defence.
Cardilicchia has been on the recruiting trail over the past few months.
“We are coming off of a winning season and are expected to do well. I am really excited about some of our new propsects. We have had players move up to play in the CIS and there are big shoes to fill,” he stated.
This weekend, Rebels players will also benefit from the expertise of four CFL players, who will be on hand to work as guest coaches.
Calgary Stampeders linebacker Dexter Janke, Hamilton Tiger-Cats long snapper Aaron Crawford, and a pair of Saskatchewan Roughriders, kicker Quinn Van Gylswyk and running back Greg Morris, will help run the camp.
Morris, who set the Canadian Junior Football League single game rushing mark as a Rebel, says he is looking forward to returning to Vancouver Island.
“I have a lot of memories playing in Victoria and look forward to providing guidance and support at the Rebels spring camp,” he said in a release.
The camp is open to the public and the first on-field session will start at 6:00 p.m. tomorrow at Westhills Stadium. Other sessions will take place at 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and 8:30 a.m. on Sunday.