Oceanside Lions players and coaches practise for the Island final under temporary lights at Oceanside Elementary.

Oceanside Lions players and coaches practise for the Island final under temporary lights at Oceanside Elementary.

Lions peewees fall in Island final

Oceanside Youth Football team rides semifinal upset to program's first berth in Vancouver Island championship

The Oceanside Lions peewee football program did not reach their goal of berth in the provincial championships, but the youngsters did get further than any previous Oceanside Youth Football squad.

In their first appearance in the Vancouver Island Canadian Football Association championship game Sunday in Duncan, the Lions fell 52-0 to the top-seeded and unbeaten Victoria Renegades. But the trip to the finals capped a three-year run from the bottom of the league standings and, said coach Bill Dubesky, sets the stage for the coming spring season of play.

“It was a tough ending to a great season,” said Dubesky. “Our team showed heart and courage on the field. We started three seasons ago from ninth place to last season placing third, to this season playing in the finals.

“Our kids on the field are just getting better and I cannot wait to see what the spring season is going to bring.”

Oceanside (6-3-1) earned its berth in the final with a surprising 36-14 upset win over the second-seeded Victoria Spartans in the semifinals one week earlier. That followed a 32-16 loss to the same team in regular-season play just two weeks earlier.