Coach Brad Yamaoka is confident the South Kamloops Titans’ junior varsity football program is in a good place.
The Titans fielded a roster of 33 and reached the provincial semifinal, where they were trounced 42-8 last month by the Ballenas Whalers of Parksville.
“It was probably one of the largest groups they’ve had in years,” Yamaoka said. “We were fairly young and had a lot of good athletes, but not a lot of guys who had played a tonne of football.
“We’ve got a good core group of Grade 9s, including our entire starting backfield and more than half of our O-line."
The senior team next season will be bolstered by about 17 players who are in Grade 10 this year.
Darryl Chow, Ron Pauwels, Ryan Weichel and Troy Peters rounded out the coaching staff this season.
Yamaoka noted 17 players on the roster this season were Kamloops Community Football graduates.
South Kam posted a 4-2 record in AA Interior play, finishing second in the division behind Vernon (6-0).
"It really bodes well for next season," Yamaoka said. "It’s a matter of continuing the growth.”
The Windsor Dukes bested Ballenas 25-14 on Nov. 30 in the Subway Bowl provincial AA final in B.C. Place Stadium.
The Titans handed out their annual awards last week at The Dunes at Kamloops.
Award winners include Deegan Falsetta, MVP; Jakob Kies, offensive player of the year; Kai Yamaoka, defensive player of the year; Ashton Yamaoka and Kelsey Watson, who shared the Unsung Hero Award; Reid Lougheed, lineman of the year; and Jesse Peters and Anthony Lafreniere, who shared the Breakout Player of the Year Award.