Sports

Cowichan football a force

Cowichan Bulldogs’ contingent of Midget and Bantam Star Bowl players poses with B.C. Lions’ Adam Bighill during a Cowichan Valley Football Association camp at McAdam Park. Back row, from left, are: Brenden Lynch (offensive lineman), Eddy Walt (defensive back), Tyler Hudson (defensive lineman) and Kain Melchior (running back). Second row: Cory Lewis (defensive back), Niko Ceska (defensive back), Mackey Singh (offensive lineman) and Travis McDonald (defensive lineman). Front: Brendan Gowanlock (quarterback), Brock Gowanlock (linebacker) and Adam Marchetti (defensive lineman). Absent: Eric Maslen (offensive lineman), Blake Torok-Both (running back), Darren Aitchison (slotback), Dusean LeBlanc (defensive lineman) and Ryan MacDonald (running back). The Star Bowl, a Vancouver Mainland Football League game, is coming up in April where players are selected by opposing coaches at the end of the season. Lewis, Ceska, Singh, Marchetti and Maslen were also selected for the Senior Bowl last weekend in Vancouver, a camp run by Football B.C. - Don Bodger
Cowichan Bulldogs’ contingent of Midget and Bantam Star Bowl players poses with B.C. Lions’ Adam Bighill during a Cowichan Valley Football Association camp at McAdam Park. Back row, from left, are: Brenden Lynch (offensive lineman), Eddy Walt (defensive back), Tyler Hudson (defensive lineman) and Kain Melchior (running back). Second row: Cory Lewis (defensive back), Niko Ceska (defensive back), Mackey Singh (offensive lineman) and Travis McDonald (defensive lineman). Front: Brendan Gowanlock (quarterback), Brock Gowanlock (linebacker) and Adam Marchetti (defensive lineman). Absent: Eric Maslen (offensive lineman), Blake Torok-Both (running back), Darren Aitchison (slotback), Dusean LeBlanc (defensive lineman) and Ryan MacDonald (running back). The Star Bowl, a Vancouver Mainland Football League game, is coming up in April where players are selected by opposing coaches at the end of the season. Lewis, Ceska, Singh, Marchetti and Maslen were also selected for the Senior Bowl last weekend in Vancouver, a camp run by Football B.C.
— image credit: Don Bodger

Cowichan football players made a big impression at the Senior Bowl, a high level camp held at the B.C. Lions’ training facilities.

Cowichan had six players selected for the camp but only four could attend.

“Having six players selected from our small community program is testimony to the ability of our players and coaching staff,’’ noted Cowichan Valley Football Association president Jeff McDonald.

“Even more impressive is the fact that out of those four, two of them leave with awards.’’

Adam (Salsa) Marchetti was impressive during the workouts and instrumental in the 45-10 win for Team West over Team East during the game that wrapped up camp.

Defensive end Marchetti racked up an amazing 17 tackles and had three sacks in the game. He was awarded the defensive line MVP for the camp and earned Team West’s defensive MVP for the game.

Ryan MacDonald was recognized as the camp’s most improved receiver.

Niko Ceska and Cory Lewis went in as defensive backs and acquitted themselves well.

“These young men represented themselves, the club and community well and everyone at Cowichan football is proud of them,’’ raved McDonald.

Still to come is the Vancouver Mainland Football League’s Star Bowl games where 11 Midget players (ages 16 to 18) and five Bantams (ages 14 and 15) will be taking part from Cowichan.

Star Bowl practices take place April 6 and 7 and then again on the following weekend, April 13 and 14, leading to games on April 20.

All the practices are on the Lower Mainland so players are required to spend two weekends preparing and then the game day.

Among those looking forward to that experience is Brock Gowanlock, a Grade 11 student at Cowichan Secondary School, who just completed his first year of midget in the fall.

“It was a pretty big transition, a lot of bigger guys,’’ he said. “You just have to adjust your play.’’

Gowanlock is also an avid rugby player and throws his weight around on the field for the Cowichan senior boys.

“It helps with the tackling and cardio and stuff,’’ he said of the benefits for football from rugby.

Brother Brendan Gowanlock really came into his own as a quarterback last season and will also be attending the Midget Star Bowl.

“For me, it’s just another opportunity to keep playing,’’ said Gowanlock, who will be trying out for the Vancouver Island Raiders junior team this season. “It’s another challenge.’’

“It’s great to be recognized by your peers that you’re one of the best at what you do,’’ added Kain Melchior, who’s also a track-and-field and basketball star.

Spring football for players aged eight to 14 is starting up again on the weekend of April 6 and 7.

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