Junior Broncos bracing for Sun in Kamloops-Kelowna football final

“Kamloops is all about hard-nosed football,” Broncos’ head coach Darryl Doern said. “We play smash-mouth football — always have and always will."

Scientists need to figure out a way to bottle the feeling Carver Robertson gets when he makes a big hit.

“You know when you cry for an hour straight, like, happy cry?” said Robertson, a 12-year-old linebacker for the Kamloops Broncos. “It’s that.

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“It gets everything out. It’s the best feeling.”

That type of elation is enough to overwhelm most mere mortals, but something of that ilk, perhaps dialled down a touch, might accompany a victory on Sunday at Hillside Stadium.

The Broncos (7-0) will play host to Kelowna Junior Sun Green (6-1) in the Southern Interior Football Conference junior bantam nine-man tackle football championship game.

Kickoff is slated for noon.

Kelowna knows exactly what is coming — a heavy dose of running back Colby Johnson, who scampered in for eight touchdowns last weekend in a 76-44 win over visiting Kelowna Junior Sun Blue in semifinal action.

“Kamloops is all about hard-nosed football,” Broncos’ head coach Darryl Doern said. “We play smash-mouth football — always have and always will.

“I tell my players, we should be able to call the play on the line of scrimmage, tell them where it’s coming and, if everybody does their job, we should still be successful.”

Sun Green are a formidable opponent, the only team that gave the Broncos a scare in regular-season action. Kamloops knocked off visiting Kelowna 37-30 on Oct. 20.

Adding to the allure of the SIFC final is what is at stake for Doern and the second-year Broncos who are aiming to avoid a third consecutive defeat in the league final.

The Shuswap Chargers of Salmon Arm zapped the Broncos 46-38 in the 2018 title tilt.

“That was the second year in a row we lost in the final,” said Benjamin Wormell, a 13-year-old Westsyde secondary student. “It’s super devastating.

“It’s just super sad seeing all the older players move on and super hard to get over it.”

The team’s mantra for this season was established on Day 1.

“The theme for this year is unfinished business,” Doern said. “They want to win for each other more than just to win.”

Liam Connolly is among the first-year Broncos who want to send the graduating class off in style.

“We have good coaching,” the David Thompson elementary student said. “We’ve got a great O-line, great defence, great fullbacks and a superstar running back.”

Johnson remembers the disappointment of last year.

“They just beat us,” he said. “It hurts bad.”

The stud running back and his buddies are out for retribution.

“I just love the excitement,” Robertson said. “If we beat Kelowna, it would be just awesome.”

© Kamloops This Week


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