Drew Wootton will play for the B.C. U16 football team in the Western Canada Challenge. Supplied photo

Comox Valley Raider to represent B.C. in U16 football

Scottish-born teen always yearned for the gridiron

Comox Valley teenager Drew Wootton is one of 40 young football players selected from throughout the province to represent B.C. at the Western Canada Challenge in July.

Even in Scotland, his country of birth, Drew wanted to play football. From an early age he was a Peyton Manning fan, staying up to watch the late NFL games on British TV.

So, in 2014 when he immigrated with his parents to Courtenay, the opportunity to play football with the Comox Valley Raiders was a big plus for him. The Raiders family quickly became part of his new community of friends. In his first season as a peewee, he was voted offensive MVP. In junior bantam, he was the proud winner of the Raiders Cup award for all-round excellence. Last year, he was rookie-of-the-year when he moved up into a superb bantam team that had an undefeated regular season.

Earlier this month, he was chosen from a large number of hopefuls to play for the B.C. U16 team in the Western Canada Challenge, where the squad will face the best of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The teams will meet in Edmonton during the first week of July.

“Being selected for Team BC is fantastic and feels great after all of the hard work I put into my football,” Drew said. “I’d like to thank all of the coaches at the Raiders for giving their time to help me. I hope this may lead to more opportunities in the future, even perhaps playing for a college team.”

After Edmonton, Drew will resume playing with the Raiders at pre-season training sessions in August, along with his many teammates, in programs for all ages.

Registration is open for the fall season of Raiders football. There’s a discount for anyone registering before the end of June. Everyone is welcome regardless of experience.

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