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Oceanside Lions peewee football side rolls to 40-16 win over Cowichan

Club president the new venue at KSS is a beautiful spot
Oceanside Lions junior bantam player Fynn Wardell loses his balance after he makes a nice grab for some valuable yardage against the Cowichan Valley Bulldogs. (Michael Briones photo)

Before their spring season started, the Oceanside Lions Football Club were left wandering as they didn’t have a set place to play with the Ballenas Secondary football field scheduled for repairs.

Working with the Qualicum School Disrict, the Lions were given an alternative location at the Kwalikum Secondary School soccer field. It’s rarely used and the field is not in the best shape but it turned out to be a diamond in the rough.

The community came out to help the club, which has eager peewees and junior bantam players waiting to get into action. Assistance was given by the school district’s maintenance team, which installed the field goalposts, with Vancouver Island Street Buildings also donating labour and equipment, and Blair Fencing digging up the holes.

“We were a little nervous moving our home field over to KSS but now that we’re here, it’s actually a beautiful spot,” said Oceanside Lions president Michael Pedersen. “We will keep the uprights in the field so it can used for rugby or even soccer.”

The Lions played their first Vancouver Island Football league home games against Cowichan Valley Bulldogs on Saturday, April 13.

The event was blessed with sunny weather and the fans came out to enjoy the action.The Peewee Lions were first on the field and they had a roaring success as they dominated the Bulldogs from start to finish, winning 40-16.

This was followed by the Junior Bantam Lions who had a tougher outing. They started well with Cassey Orr scoring the first touchdown to give the Lions a 6-0 lead. Things went awry for the Lions after that, as they coughed up the ball a couple of times and gave the Bulldogs the opportunity grab the lead 14-6.

With time winding down in the fourth quarter, the Lions fought back hard with quarterback Hunter Renaud leading the charge, finding ways to move the ball into the Bulldog zone. He ended up scoring a touchdown to cut the gap to just two points.

Kicker Eduardo Munoz, an exchange student from Spain, successfully kicked the ball through the uprights to end the game tied 14-14. No extra time was played to break the tie.

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The president of the Ballenas Whalers Football Society, Dan Smith, came out to watch the game and see for himself the field the Lions are now playing on.

“We were planning to rent artificial turf in Nanaimo for our home games next season because the Ballenas field will not be available to us,” said Smith. “But having looked at this field, we might consider using this as well for our games.”

The Ballenas coaches are also involved with the Lions, helping the club since there are potential players that they can recruit for the next BC High School Football Association league.

Pedersen they welcome this collaboration with Ballenas Whalers.

“I support it 100 per cent,” said Pedersen. “We meet with them regularly and we have some Ballenas coaches who help us coach. We’re nurturing our program to help feed into their program.”

Smith said some of the Lions players have also started working out with Ballenas Whalers and he looks forward to having them next season.

Michael Briones

About the Author: Michael Briones

I rejoined the PQB News team in April 2017 from the Comox Valley Echo, having previously covered sports for The NEWS in 1997.
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