Braden Vankoughnett picked up the phone in a hurry.
The Kamloops Broncos’ coach had just seen film of Abe Fimbo in six-man football action in Saskatchewan and his talent radar was sounding off.
“From the day I gave my tape to Kamloops, he instantly contacted me and said he wants to make me a great linebacker, a great player,” said Fimbo, who turns 18 in December.
“That’s a big impact. I’ve never had a coach put that much time into making me a great player.”
Fimbo was this named the B.C. Football Conference’s rookie of the year for 2019, a season in which he racked up 38 solo tackles, three assisted tackles, six special teams tackles, one fumble recovery, one blocked kick and three passes defended in nine games.
“He chases the ball down,” Vankoughnett said. “When he gets there, he gets there with an attitude and he punishes people.
“He came in never having played 12-man football and dominated the league as a rookie.”
Fimbo, who stands six feet tall and weighs about 210 pounds, endured an 0-10 campaign, the Broncos’ second consecutive winless season.
“I don’t like losing at all, but I didn’t care if we were winning or losing, I loved the experience of playing for an organization like the Broncos,” said Fimbo, who plans to return to Kamloops next year.
“I wasn’t expecting to get any awards this year. My teammates and coaches had faith in me.”
Vankoughnett was among the believers.
“I’m super excited for the guy,” he said.
“It couldn’t have happened to a better player, a better athlete.”