Sports

Andrew Harris football camp returns

ANDREW HARRIS CELEBRATES after being named Most Valuable Canadian at the 2011 Grey Cup. - PHOTO SUBMITTED
ANDREW HARRIS CELEBRATES after being named Most Valuable Canadian at the 2011 Grey Cup.
— image credit: PHOTO SUBMITTED

 

 

 

The second annual Andrew Harris Football Skills Camp is set to go March 15-16 in Nanaimo.

The B.C. Lions running back said quite a few Comox Valley players attended the camp last year, and he wanted to let them and others know details of the 2013 camp.

Players ages seven to 14 are welcome. The camp will be at Comox Field (the Vancouver Island Raiders practice field at Campbell and Prideaux streets). Registration is available online at Harris33.com and also at the field on March 15 from 5:15 to 6:45 p.m. and March 16 at 10 a.m.

The $80 registration fee includes a Harris #33 practice jersey and autographed poster. Guest coaches from the Lions and VI Raiders will be in attendance. Harris notes this is a circuit skills camp that covers fundamentals at all positions.

Harris took the rare path to professional football by going through the junior system. Instead of joining a CIS football program after school, he joined the Vancouver Island Raiders of the Canadian Junior Football League. During his phenomenal junior career, he led the Raiders to three national championships (2006, 2008, and 2009) and broke a number of British Columbia conference and CJFL records, including all-time touchdowns and scoring. In 2009, he was awarded the Wally Buono Award for most outstanding junior football player in Canada.

BC Lions' head coach and general manager Wally Buono took notice of Harris's talents in junior football and claimed him as a territorial exemption in 2008. He joined the Lions practice roster in 2009, while continuing to play his final season of junior for the Raiders.

In 2010, Harris earned a spot on the Lions active roster and was primarily used on special teams in his first season. He  began the 2011 season as the Lions' backup running back. Harris saw his role expand and he took over as the starting running back in midseason, finishing with 853 total yards and eight touchdowns.

In the playoffs, Harris was named the Canadian player of the week for his performance in the Lions' win over the Edmonton Eskimos in the West Division Final. A week later, Harris was named the Most Outstanding Canadian at the Grey Cup, scoring a touchdown and rushing for 65 yards over 10 carries in the Lions 34-23 win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

In December 2011, Harris and the Lions agreed to a two-year contract extension, with an option for year three.

Following a strong 2011 campaign, Harris became the starting running back for the 2012 CFL season. Harris continued his strong play and became the ninth Canadian running back to rush for 1,000 yards in a season and the first BC Lion to rush for a 1,000 yards since Sean Millington in 2000.

 

Harris was born and raised in Winnipeg cites his idol as being former Winnipeg Blue Bombers running back Charles Roberts. Since joining the Lions, Harris has worn #33 as a tribute to a VI Raiders teammate who died in a car crash in September 2008.

 

 

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