Drew Wootton has been a leader on offence for the bantam Raiders football team, which plays Cowichan Saturday in the Island final. Photo by Susan Iszak-Stanyar

Bantam Raiders host Cowichan in Island final

Winner advances to provincials

The Comox Valley Raiders bantam football team faces the Cowichan Bulldogs Saturday, Nov. 10 at Bill Moore Park in the Island final, with a spot in the provincial championship on the line.

It has been a successful season for the Raiders, who finished first in the Island with a 6-2 record, which awarded them a first round playoff bye to further prepare for Saturday’s game. With a core of nine players from last season’s 8-0 team showing the way to the first-year bantams, it has been impressive to see the steady development with this group.

Coach Damon Mair is proud of the fact that the Raiders are the only team in the league that regularly starts all different players on offence and defence, allowing for opportunities to as many kids as possible, whereas other teams have three or four players who never leave the field. This has helped build a strong bond on the team that is allowing the offence and defence to play at high levels.

On offence, the team is led by Drew Wootton who has accounted for 1,200 yards rushing, 400 yards passing and 19 total touchdowns, operating behind a strong offensive line with Mark Biollo as their captain. On the defensive side, Brodie Lawrie and Ashton Lepard have been battling for the team lead in tackles all season, both with around 35 and multiple big plays. Hannah Bourbyn has also been a force on the defensive line, contributing over 20 tackles with tremendous effort given on every play.

The public is encouraged to come out Saturday to cheer on the hometown team and watch these young athletes put on a show.

Saturday kickoff is 2:30 p.m.

•The midget Raiders play a semi-final game Saturday in Chilliwack against the Giants.

The povincial championships are in Kamloops, live streamed on the VBN network through YouTube, on the Nov. 17/18 weekend.

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