Cowichan Valley Football Association

T-Men hoping to gel before home opener this Sunday

Cowichan Valley Citizen

by  Kevin Rothbauer – Cowichan Valley Citizen
posted Sep 18, 2015 at 7:00 AM

One week into the season, the union between the midget football programs from the Cowichan Valley and Nanaimo still needs some ironing out.

Cowichan and Nanaimo joined forces to better compete in the Vancouver Mainland Football League this season, and the team was renamed from the Bulldogs to the Timbermen to acknowledge the Cowichan program’s former name — and the 1976 provincial champions — as the organization celebrates 50 years of existence.

“It has been a little bit of a learning curve for the players getting to know each other,” head coach Opie Williams said following last Sunday’s season-opening defeat at the hands of the White Rock Titans. “I am very excited about the 50th year of Cowichan football and returning the midget program to the Timbermen.”

The Timbermen struggled in the first half last Sunday as they opened the fall season with a 40-7 loss.

The first offensive series ended with the complete opposite of the desired result as quarterback Braemon Conville threw a pick six, but with Cowichan trailing 14-0 Kain Melchior got the Timbermen on the scoreboard by returning the Titans’ second kickoff for a touchdown. When the T-Men kicked off after that score, however, the Titans responded by running it back to score.

Second-half highlights were few and far between for the T-Men, but James Dennis-Orr came through with a key sack late in the third quarter to give his team some momentum.

Williams had to watch the game from the sidelines as he served the first part of a two-game suspension dating back to the end of last season. Williams had to hand the reins to his brother Mike, the head coach of the bantam Cowichan Bulldogs, who had the weekend off.

“It was very difficult for me sitting on the fan side of the field,” Williams admitted.

Veteran coaches Ross McCauley — who played for the provincial champion Timbermen in 1976 — JP Sterling and Terry Conville are back in the mix this season, along with recent Cowichan graduates Landen Conville and Andrew Ketola, with former Nanaimo head coach Sean Roden taking charge of the defensive line and linebackers.

Both Cowichan teams will be at home to Coquitlam at McAdam Park this Sunday. The bantam Bulldogs play at 12:30 p.m., followed by the midget Timbermen at 2:30 p.m.