During a rainy practice, Prince George Kodiaks head coach and director of football operations Keon Raymond emphasized passion and discipline.
In 48 hours, the new BC Football Conference franchise will play its first home opener against the Kamloops Broncos on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Masich Place Stadium.
Raymond expects the Kodiaks to have the juice against their closest geographic rival.
“I said to our guys, if you can’t be ready for this, it’s the first junior game in CJFL history in Prince George and you have to be ready for this. If you’re not ready for it, you don’t want to play football.
The Broncos, meanwhile, are themselves starving for success on the field as they have racked up just one win since 2017. It happened on Halloween night last season, a triumph 18-7 against the Westshore Rebels.
Kamloops kicked off their season last week with a hard-fought 14-7 loss to the Vancouver Island Raiders.
Raymond doesn’t take the Broncos for granted despite the lack of success in the win column.
“They’ve kind of been one of the teams that’s struggled for the last two years, so I’m pretty sure they’ll come in hungry and ready to play.”
“They’re the closest team to us and there’s probably going to be a bit of a rivalry as we continue to build. I’m looking forward to whoever comes to town – it’s kind of a celebration for them to come up against. new players in the neighborhood.
For the Kodiaks to emerge victorious, they will need a stellar performance from quarterback Liam Oczkowski.
He said MyPGNow.comEarly-game jitters shouldn’t be as prevalent this time around.
“Getting that first game under our belt is really eye-opening and you see how much faster the game is compared to high school. We will be prepared for it.
“I’ve been nursing an ankle injury since that first game against Chilliwack. I’ve looked after him for the past few weeks, but I’ll be ready and the whole team will be ready to play.
Two weeks ago, the Kodiaks dropped their first-ever BCFC game, a 31-5 loss to the Valley Huskers in Chilliwack.
The 39-year-old two-time Gray Cup champion saw several positives from his young team and the scoreline was not indicative of the game.
“When we came out in the first game I wanted to see what kind of team I had. We were weak in training camp and it was an opportunity for us to see where we were against a team of veterans who made the playoffs last season. Now we kind of know that they came out and kinda kicked us in the mouth for a while, but I’d say for the most part our guys played rough and tough and didn’t give up.
“It’s the biggest thing I like to see,” Raymond added.
The Kodiaks are hosting a Pep Rally tomorrow (Friday) from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the Hart Community Center.