The Nanaimo Islanders will get a good sense of how good their football teams are this week.
The junior varsity squad kicks things off, looking to avenge a loss to South Nanaimo rival Barsby Bulldogs today at 3:15 p.m. at Nanaimo District Secondary School. The AA Varsity Islanders (1-1), meanwhile, will be hoping to shutdown Western Conference opponent Windsor Dukes (1-0) quarterback Ty Marshall on Friday at 1:45 p.m. at Merle Logan Field. The Islanders will counter with an athletic, skilled group that is just hoping to put a good game together against a top team.
"We're a real Jekyll and Hyde team this year," said NDSS head coach Nate Stevenson, whose senior team is coming off a 30-7 win over the Argyle Pipers last Saturday. "The athleticism on the senior team is incredible this year, we just have to make sure we show up for each game and work for each yard."
The JV Islanders have struggled through the exhibition season, including an 8-6 loss to the Bulldogs on Sept. 18. In that game, neither offence scored.
A win today, in their regular season opener, will do a lot to get them back on track. Their biggest advantage is on their large defensive line, but they know they will have their work cut out for them against a trapping run game from the Bulldogs.
And as always, there are bragging rights on the line when these two programs get together.
"A lot of the ND kids, they're buddies with the Barsby kids, and it just winds up what side of the street you're on, that's the school you go to and who you wind up playing for," said Stevenson. "We look forward to it every year."
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