When the Westshore Warriors’ peewee team first suited up, team manager Dave Meade expected they would be able to hold their own against other football teams.
And the Warriors have done more than that, going 8-0 in their inaugural fall season with the Greater Victoria Minor Football Association. Its most recent 36-30 victory came against the Victoria Spartans on Sunday.
“[The players] just really gelled this year. Now they’re just coming up and learning that they can play a little harder, hit a little harder, fun a little faster and know they can’t get hurt themselves,” Meade said. “A lot of kids are just coming into football.”
In the past when the spring league has wrapped up, players, many of whom have played together for several season, split off and joined other teams across the Capital Region.
However, this year the team decided to play in the fall as well. The 24-player team ranges in age from eight to 11 years old and practice every Tuesday and Thursday, with games in Saanich.
Those practices have been paying off with the Warriors winning games against teams in Nanaimo, Comox and Ladysmith, as well as games against local teams such as the Spartans and the Renegades during the past few months.
Now, the team is taking on a new challenge and will be presenting Vancouver Island during the B.C. provincial playoffs in Langley on Nov. 25.
Unlike the regular season when the team had to play mainly with a nine-man team throughout the season (most teams on the Island only had enough players to field a nine-man team), they have to instead practice playing with a 12-man team – something they’ll have to adapt to. But Meade isn’t worried.
“We have a great bunch of kids … I think we have a chance to do fairly well over there,” he said.