Raiders motivated group for home opener against Kamloops

By Dan Marshall
August 10, 2018 - 12:05am

The VI Raiders celebrating a 2017 Cullen Cup win over the Westshore RebelsBrenda Pelland McIntosh

NANAIMO — The BCFC season is one week old but the first chance for local fans to see the VI Raiders is Saturday at Caledonia Park.

The Raiders were stunned 33-31 by Chilliwack in Week 1 and coach Doug Hocking says the perfect medicine for the players was to get right back on the field for practice and do what they love to do.

"We're a very focused football team right now," Hocking stated. "We want to have a very intense and businesslike manner about the way we're going to do things this Saturday."

One of the goals for the Raiders is to repeat as Cullen Cup champions, but ultimately the whole organization wants to not only reach that level in 2018, but take things further and win a Canadian Bowl in November.

 

 

To be better in Week 2 the Raiders will draw on the positives from an excellent first half against the Huskers, and also take stock of the things that hurt them in the second half.

"We have to focus on the fact that we did a lot of really good things in the first half," said Hocking. "And then you've got to focus on the bad stuff and that's giving up 30 unanswered points. There's too many good football players and too many good football coaches on this team to dwell on that. We can't wait to get back to action and make things right on Saturday."

A victory against Kamloops would put the team in the exact same position they were in a year ago, 1-1 after the first two weeks of the season.

In 2017 the Raiders were 3-3-1 before they caught fire and won the BC title.

No team has all aspects of their game completely dialed in this early in the season and for Hocking and the Raiders there's still lots of work to be done all three phases - offense, defense, and special teams.

As the players work on their game, the coaches also have to break down the Kamloops Broncos and come up with a successful scheme for the home opener.

Hocking says he's watched a lot of film from the Broncos 56-6 home opening loss to Okanagan.

"They're a young team but they're going to come and they've got something to prove. Brad Yamaoka, their head coach, is a good friend of mind and he'll have them sold on the fact that because of our performance last week that they can come in here and beat us, and we have to understand that," explained Hocking.  

Ahead of Thursday's practice Rhett Williams answered a lighthearted round of 'Five Questions' about the team and the start of another junior football season in Nanaimo.

 

 

Saturday's home opener is a 2:30 pm kickoff at Caledonia Park.

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