Cowichan Valley Football Association

Learning curve extends to the coach of young Peewee ‘Dogs

By Don Bodger Of The Free Press COWICHAN VALLEY

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Doug (Opie) Williams has spent countless hours over the years coaching football teams that didn’t include his own child on the roster. The time finally came for that to change. Williams dropped down from the Cowichan Valley Football Association’s Midget Bulldogs to Peewee in order to coach his son Jaeden. Unfortunately, no one could be found to replace Williams with the Midgets and Cowichan is not fielding a team this season at that level. Williams simply couldn’t be two places at once and is redirecting his energy toward kids at the learning stage rather than at an advanced development phase. It’s also a learning curve for him. “I’ve got to tone it down – OK fun, fun, fun,” Williams conceded. “They’re still competitive. They still want to win. I’ve got to make it fun for them. That’s the biggest strategy.” Williams added he wants the players to develop a passion for the game that will carry them through the years and this is where it starts. Most of the players on the Peewee Bulldogs are nine- and 10-year-olds going against rival teams with heavier concentrations of 11-year-olds. The bulk of the Peewees, including Jaeden, 9, are also new to the nine-man tackling game after playing flag football in the spring. “The two basics of tackle football are blocking and tackling that they don’t do in the spring,” noted Williams. “We’ve only got a couple of kids that have played one season (of tackle) already.” Good help is also harder to find for the Peewees, another big difference Williams has found in the transition. “At Midget, it was very easy for me to get other coaches involved,” he said. There’s only himself and two other assistants with the Peewees. Williams now has a clear game plan about his future football coaching assignments since teaming up on Jaeden’s side. “I’ll move up with him,” he indicated. That means he’ll wind up back in the Midget program eventually if there are enough players, but not for a while.

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