Hopes for a 2021 highschool soccer season

How long has it been since the South Delta Sun Devils last played a home game in high school football? Key members of what was then the No. 1 team will begin their sophomore year at the University of Calgary in September.

The COVID-19 pandemic turned off Friday Night Lights for almost 20 months, but there is finally hope on the horizon as daily case numbers drop and BC’s restart plan enters another phase starting Tuesday.

Sun Devils head coach Ray Moon and his staff have been running weekly workouts this month that involve no equipment, no physical contact, and lots of social distancing.

“That’s basically the entire junior varsity team (from two years ago) that we’re working with now,” said Moon. “You missed this year of development, so now we can access who we have and who is in which position. These high school kids grow and change a lot in two years. “

Practices should change dramatically in late August, when the program is expected to get approval from BC School Sports to open a “normal” training camp and begin with a full schedule a few weeks later.

The plan is to travel to the Okanagan on August 28 for a practice with the Kelowna Owls. The Sun Devils will do the same with Eric Hamber the following week, then prepare for their home opener when South Kamloops travels to Tsawwassen in a non-conference game on September 11th.

South Delta will again be part of the Western AAA Conference, which will be even tougher than in previous years thanks to the composition of some teams. The Carson Graham Eagles were replaced by the St. Thomas More Knights and joined the Sun Devils, Vancouver College, Notre Dame, Mt. Doug, Seaquam, New West, and Belmont.

Kenny Scott is being referred to as the team’s starting quarterback in what is likely to be a very different offensive than in previous years.

The strong passing attack that led QB Ben McDonald and receivers Evan Paterson and Ethan Troniak to bring their talents to Calgary and the Dinosaurs University program will rely more on the ground play under new offensive coordinator Jerry Mullis. Running back Jesse Mitran is expected to be the featured back with some possible “surprises,” according to Moon.

“We have a few rugby players who have never played organized football before, but it will be very interesting to see what they can do when they have the ball,” added Moon.

The newly designed coaching staff also includes former CFL and UBC standout Mike Emery, who will work with the linebackers, while Alumni Spencer Smid will act as the linemen coach, who has just earned his doctorate in chiropractic.

There will also be a familiar face on the sidelines, with Bruce McDonald choosing to work mostly with defensive backs. The McDonald family has been a huge influence on the program for the past decade, with his sons Jack, Grant and Ben all starring on the field. Grant was a second-round pick for the Edmonton Elks in the May 2021 CFL Draft.

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