Cowichan Valley Football Association

Bighill a big draw for Bulldogs’ spring camp

Cowichan Valley Citizen
Kevin Rothbauer / The Citizen
March 26, 2014 12:00 AM
Young football players from across Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland gathered in Duncan last weekend for toplevel instruction from an impressive collection of coaches, including one of the BC Lions’ best players.

Two-time CFL all-star Adam Bighill was the main attraction at Cowichan Football’s second annual spring football camp, as more than 70 players from 10 different clubs took part.

“It was incredible to have so many players and coaches from all over B.C. all together for one purpose – football,” camp organizer and Cowichan atom coach Devon Lawrence said. “Our Cowichan Spring Camp has really turned into a B.C. youth football camp.” Bighill, the Lions’ star linebacker, was impressed with the turnout.

“Adam was amazed and excited to have so many different players attend the camp,” Lawrence said. “He commented that it made the camp that much more intense not only for him, but for the players.”

Joining Bighill as guest coaches were Cobble Hill’s Whitman Tomusiak, who recently signed with the BC Lions after a standout career with the Vancouver Island Raiders, and fourth-year Raider Hayden Mebs. Cowichan midget coach Opie Williams was also on hand to instruct the young players.

The camp started on Saturday with sessions at McAdam Park. Players were initially mixed into new groups and run through a circuit where they got to try out every position. This was followed by a safe contact tackling station directed by Lawrence, teaching proper tackling technique where the head is taken out of hitting.

“This is a new program from Football Canada being taught to all football coaches which teaches the players at a young age that the helmet is there to protect the head and not to be used to make a tackle,” Lawrence explained.

The rest of the day gave players the chance to pick their position, allowing them to work with coaches that specialize in the respective roles.

Camp resumed on Sunday at Duncan Christian School, where the players were split into their respective age groups and into offence and defence groups.

“Each offence and defence was given time to develop positions and plays which they would test using the skills they had learned the day previous,” Lawrence said.

Finally, the players put their skills to the test with scrimmages to end the camp.

“The peewee game was fast and intense where the combined atom/pre-atom teams focused more on the fundamentals with emphasis on fun,” Lawrence said.

Naturally, Bighill was the biggest draw for the young players and their parents, but the camp is also one of just a few for pre-atom to pee wee age players in the province.

“They said there are always camps for the older players which take place at places like UBC or Football BC, but usually nothing for the younger players,” Lawrence noted. “That is the reason Cowichan Football opened the camp up to other organizations as having players from a diverse group makes it more exciting as everyone brings something new.”

The Bulldogs will begin the spring season this Saturday when all three teams will take part in the Greater Victoria Football Association’s jamboree.

© Cowichan Valley Citizen

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