VI Raiders looked at 97 players during spring camp

By Dan Marshall
May 9, 2017 - 9:46am Updated: May 9, 2017 - 11:03am

Brenda Pelland McIntosh

NANAIMO — The junior football season is still over two months away, but 97 hopefuls showed off their talents at the VI Raiders spring camp over the weekend.
Almost all of the team's recruits were able to be there, as well as the players already on the roster.
New head coach Doug Hocking was impressed with the talent on display and said he expects to put out about 75-85 invites for main camp.
"From there we're thinking that we'll be able to carry about 75 kids all season long. And 75 high-end kids who can step into the line up at any time," Hocking said.
Raider alumni and current Winnipeg Blue Bomber Andrew Harris was a guest coach at the camp and Hocking said the players got some important tips from the CFL veteran.
"He made a commitment to make these players better. He spoke to the kids after practice one day about his experience here and moving on and having other opportunities," Hocking said. "This is the avenue that he took and it worked out for him. There's a lot of different roads to get to the same place and I think our players responded well to the talk that he gave them and his coaching."
Over the next several weeks Hocking and the rest of the coaching staff will go over film and determine which players will get the coveted invite to main camp.
Hocking and the Raiders have high expectations for 2017 but week one of the regular season is the only focus right now. The season opener is in Langley on July 29.
Come November, the Raiders will look to return to the Canadian Bowl for the first time since 2013 and capture their first national title since 2009.
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