Jeremy Conn has taken a break from football and won’t coach for the Ballenas Whalers high school program next season. (Michael Briones photo)

Jeremy Conn has taken a break from football and won’t coach for the Ballenas Whalers high school program next season. (Michael Briones photo)

Ballenas Whalers head coach Jeremy Conn takes a break from football

Former Whalers player Scott Childs to coach senior varsity team

Ballenas Whalers head coach Jeremy Conn has decided to take a break from football.

Conn, who has dedicated 15 years to the Whalers football high school program, has stepped down after a year in the head coach position he took over from Dan Smith.

“I am looking forward to relaxing and spending more time and energy with my family,” Conn stated in his message to the Whalers football team and community. “I am also looking forward to spending more time taking care of my health, focusing on my career, and on other interests I have always wanted to explore.”

Conn said he is proud to have been a part of the Whalers football community and is more than happy to continue to share his knowledge and experience.

Former head coach and Whaler Football Support Society president Smith is sad to see Conn leave. He said the departure is a big loss to the football program.

“Coach Conn dedicated thousands of hours, watching film, doing administration as well as coaching on the field,” said Smith. “Coach Conn’s football acumen, organizational skills and significant input in the development of ‘The Whaler Way’ was instrumental in establishing the winning culture in our program.”

READ MORE: History of football in Parksville reflected in father-son book ‘It Takes a Posse’

Upon learning of Conn’s decision, Smith said they immediately began to look for a new head coach. And they decided to pass the torch to former Whalers player Scott Childs, who has served as assistant coach the last three years. Childs will coach the senior varsity team.

“It’s a big role he has to fill,” said Smith. “Scotty has been with us for a few years now and had worked with myself and coach Mark [MacDonald] on offence and stuff so he was getting some good coaching there, learning. He also got good learning coaching from Jeremy. I asked him what he’s learned from the last couple of years and I liked what I heard. He played for the University of Calgary football program for four to five years and he has seen how things are done at that level, too. He has the experience of being around football.”

Smith said the support society will assist Childs so he can fully focus more on football and develop his coaching skills.

“The view I had is what’s the downside of appointing this person as head coach?” said Smith. “Lack of experience as a head coach. But where do you get that experience? What opportunity gives you that experience? I will be there to be a sounding board and a resource. Jeremy has also offered to provide Scotty help with the transition. I see that more on the administrative side because Jeremy was an outstanding administrator. He was a good planner and well-organized.”

Childs was offensive co-ordinator for the Whalers junior and senior varsity programs and was also involved with coaching the receivers and defensive backs.

“Although I have only coached for a short period of time, I have learned from the best in coach Jeremy Conn and coach Dan Smith, who I’ve shadowed and learned a tremendous amount from these past three years,” said Childs.

Childs is a product of the Whalers football program. He began playing for Ballenas when he was in Grade 8 in 2009 and continued until he graduated in 2013. He was named to the all-conference team twice as a receiver and once to the all-provincial team.

“My proudest accomplishment during that time was being part of a team that made four provincial semifinal appearances,” said Childs. “I continued my football career by attending the University of Calgary, one of the top university programs in the country.”

The Whalers junior varsity team will now be coached by Mike Seselja.

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

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