NANAIMO — After seven games of the BCFC season the VI Raiders were a .500 team and coming off of a loss to their island rivals from Westshore.
Fast forward three weeks and the team has reeled off three straight wins, they finished the season at 6-3-1, and are confident heading into a post season game against the Okanagan Sun.
Coach Doug Hocking says the Raiders had to get better over the last three weeks of the season and they did that.
After pushing the Sun to a 31-31 tie in Week 6, the team is excited about the opportunity to face 8-1-1 Okanagan again.
"I'm sure the guys are going to draw from that, knowing that we can go up there and play in that park. I've said it all year long, this team travels well," said Hocking.
The coach says that consistency is key and the Raiders preparation will include the same routine they followed during their last trip to Kelowna.
They'll be leaving on Saturday to have a day to travel before the game.
The Raiders will be taking the same ferry, making the same meal stop in Chilliwack, and staying at the same hotel in West Kelowna
To win the 2017 Cullen Cup VI will probably need to win two games on the road.
That doesn't bother Hocking who says his team has been good away from home all season.
"The Apple Bowl in the past for this football team, isn't an intimidating place for us to play," Hocking said. "We thrive on that opportunity to go up there and play in front of that crowd."
Further proof the third place Raiders are a top team is the six BCFC All-Star selections that were announced this week.
Receiver and returner Brycen Mayoh is at the top of that list, and according to Hocking, may be in line for more recognition for his 2017 campaign down the line.
Offensive lineman Traven Traveller had an All-Star nod as well.
On defense, linemen Quinton Bowles and Brody Taylor were singled out for their strong play.
The Raiders kicking game garnered All-Star awards for both punter Nick Hunchak and place kicker James Parker.
Sunday's game at the Apple Bowl is a 1 p.m. kickoff.
The winner will play whoever comes out on top in the Westshore versus Langley semifinal in the Cullen Cup game.
On twitter: @danmarshall77
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