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Kamloops Broncos looking for bounce back season and opened with a win at Hillside Stadium

The Kamloops Broncos taking the field at Hillside Stadium for their season opener Saturday, July 29, 2017.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Joe Motokado
July 31, 2017 - 9:00 PM

KAMLOOPS - After winning just two games in 2016, the Kamloops Broncos feel they can start turning things around this season and so far so good for the squad as they beat the visiting Valley Huskers 41-8 in the season opener at Hillside Stadium on Saturday, July 29.

Head Coach Brad Yamoaka says it won't be a return to the 2015 Broncos that saw their high powered offence ranked first in the B.C. Football Conference, but he says he expects to see an improvement over their 2-8 record last year.

Head Coach Brad Yamoaka works with his players during off-season training.
Head Coach Brad Yamoaka works with his players during off-season training.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Joe Motokado

"We have our returning quarterback coming back again so that's a positive," says Yamoaka. "A good core group of our defence is back too so we are pretty excited from that standpoint. We've filled some holes with some young kids so we are excited to see how they perform when the lights turn on."

The quarterback that has Yamoaka excited for this season is second year Colby Henkel. The 6'3" pivot out of Stony Plains, Alta. was ranked 13th on this year's list of the top 50 BCFC players and expectations are high for the young man.

"It's always tougher to perform in your second season," Yamoaka says. "We're hoping that he will learn to manage games a bit better in the sense of how to understand situations better. Like when we are up late in a game we don't need him throwing 30 or 40 yard bombs down the field."

On defence, perennial all-star defensive back Kieran Muir is expected to lead the D again this year. The Prince George native is playing in his fifth and final season as a Bronco, and Yamoaka expects more of the same in 2017.

QB Colby Henkel, 12, awaits the snap during the teams season opener, July 29, 2017.
QB Colby Henkel, 12, awaits the snap during the teams season opener, July 29, 2017.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Joe Motokado
                                            

"He's been one of our solid contributors for the last few years at corner and I see him as one of the guys that will lead that defence and help out the young guys."

There is some exciting new talent joining the Broncos this year as well, including linebacker Darcy Chereff who was playing fullback for another team in the BCFC before bringing his talents to Kamloops.

"He came to us playing elsewhere in the league on the offensive side of the ball but he is playing linebacker for us. He's a guy we're excited to see what he brings," he says.

The squad also has a decent crop of local talent from Kamloops high schools that are starting their rookie seasons in the BCFC.

Westsyde Secondary product Parker Matheson is expected to contribute in his rookie year.
Westsyde Secondary product Parker Matheson is expected to contribute in his rookie year.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Joe Motokado

"Probably the guy that will see more field than the rest is Kaden Cook out of South Kamloops Secondary. He has proven to be quite an athlete and with a little bit of coaching he will be able to contribute this season. Another will be Parker Matheson out of Westsyde. We're looking for him to do some good things this season as well," Yamoaka says.

After playing the Huskers who haven't won a game since 2014 in week one, the Broncos will have a change of pace this week when they travel to Kelowna to battle last year's league champs the Okanagan Sun.

Game time for the tilt Saturday, August 5, is 7 p.m. at the Apple Bowl.


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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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