It’s 6 p.m. in west Langford and already players from the Westshore Rebels are starting to trickle in to the team’s sparkling new training facility.
The B.C. Football Conference club’s new associate head coach, Shane Beatty, is running through drills in a spacious weights area with a group of 20 minor football players aged nine to 14 as the big guys arrive.
While the team’s regional spring camp coming up this weekend at Westhills Stadium, there’s still more than two months to go until the BCFC season opener. But upwards of 40 players have been attending voluntary workouts five times a week to get ready for the season.
“We’ve got more guys coming out now than we had on the roster at this time last year,” said head coach J.C. Boice.
“Belmont and Mount Doug are well represented in this program,” added Beatty. “We’ve also got a bunch of Mount Doug kids coming in, a couple kids from Winnipeg next week and a couple from Halifax.”
He says the team is looking loaded on the offensive and defensive lines for the 2016 season, based on who’s here and who’s committed.
Individually, there are nearly a dozen players with CIS experience planning on suiting up for the club this season. Not only that, four Rebels players attended last weekend’s B.C. Lions’ evaluation camp.
As for the new facility, Beatty calls it “state of the art for this level.” The former Okanagan Sun head coach, whose specialty is strength training and fitness, said, “It’s comparable to schools down in the States. Being 20,000 square feet with the modalities and the equipment we have in here is phenomenal.”
Boice and the Rebels board made a deal to use the converted warehouse, owned by local developer Les Bjola, with the help of car dealer Bob Saunders and Langford Coun. Roger Wade, a longtime football supporter ion the West Shore.
Boice and his wife shelled out for the 35,000 pounds of weights that line the edges of the room, giving players their own customized strength training area.
“It’s hard to find words to describe it. If there was a place I could sleep in the back and just pay rent, I’d just live here,” said second-year Rebel defensive lineman Jorge Monzon-Yarwood. He likes the way the team is already becoming like a family through its workouts. “Nobody in the country’s outworking us.”