Devin OwpalukNEWS Contributor
The Ballenas Whalers are getting ready for a new season. Last year, the senior Whaler team went all the way to the provincial semifinals, where they lost after a controversial decision in overtime.
Head coach since last year Dan Smith, a member of the B.C. Football Hall of Fame, has been involved with the team since 2001.
Smith said early training is scheduled to begin in May and will focus on “building core strength and agility.” The initial practices will be done without full gear, with the first session on May 2, after school from 3:30-6 p.m. From then on they will be held every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
According to Smith, “Football is not the number one sport for concussions. (In fact), women’s soccer is the number one sport for concussions. The Canadian Amateur Football Association has set up safe tackling, (with) new techniques to get the head out of the tackle. We have been upgrading helmets for (better) safety.”
Registration is underway for both junior and senior teams. “Last year we had 24 players on the senior team, and 28 on the junior team. (This year) we currently have 15 juniors and 18 seniors signed up,” said Smith.
“We want a few more big players (to add to a) solid core of (returnees).” The team is looking for more players to build the roster up to a full compliment of 24-28 players for each team. Ballenas students who are interested in playing football should go to the school office to fill out a registration form.