The V.I. Raiders may be favoured to repeat as champions or they may not be. They wouldn’t know. They don’t pay much attention to that sort of thing.
“I don’t know,” said Doug Hocking, V.I. coach. “Guys come in here every night saying, ‘Did you read this? Did you read that? They got [so-and-so].’ That doesn’t concern me. We were supposed to finish fourth last year and not do anything.
“The things that are in my control I worry about out here on the field, and wherever it shakes down after 11 weeks or 12 weeks, that’s where it ends up.”
The Raiders get the 2018 season underway with a road game against the Chilliwack Huskers on Sunday, Aug. 5, and until then, they’re 0-0 just like every other team, said quarterback Jake Laberge.
“It’s a new year and everyone on this team has a mentality like we haven’t proved anything yet,” he said.
Season preview: V.I. Raiders racking up good days of football
Hocking said the Huskers have the same coaching staff from last year, so he expects them to show some similarities in the way they play.
“There will be some wrinkles in Week 1 and there will be some things that we need to adjust on the fly. There is every game. There’s tendency breaks,” he said. “And they’ll have to do the same things for us; we’re going to do some things different.”
Laberge said in getting ready for a team in Week 1, players just need to mentally prepare and watch film from last year.
“And you just never underestimate an opponent, no matter who it is…” he said. “They’re coming out to get us. Everyone wants to be 1-0 Week 1.”
GAME ON … The Raiders and Huskers play Sunday, Aug. 5, at 2 p.m. at Chilliwack’s Exhibition Field. The Raiders’ home opener is Aug. 11 when the Kamloops Broncos visit Caledonia Park for a 2:30 p.m. kickoff.