The Edward Milne community school senior football team has a new head coach, who intends on ushering in a new season where all kids will be given the opportunity to play.
“That was one thing I said when I signed on, every kid will get to play,” said Darryl Pollock.
He said all children despite their size or speed can play football — they just need a passion for the game.
“Football is a game for all sized kids: big kids, small kids, fast kids, slow kids. If you have a desire to play the game, you will be able to.
“There’s safety factors that we as coaches have to follow. I’m not going to put a little small kid out against a huge seven-foot guy and let him get hammered on, but there are positions for every kid if they have the desire,” Pollock said.
The team currently has eight coaching staff, which Pollock said will help provide individual training for specific positions, as opposed to doing things generically.
“We’re able to focus on individual training, which I believe, and all the other coaches believe, will make a huge difference,” he said.
After a few training camps and practice meets, Pollock is already confident the EMCS Wolverines senior football team has what it takes to win provincials.
“My goal is that everyone who comes out has a really good time. My goal is that we really gel together as a team and that is already happening. We’re going for the provincial title.”
Now, it is a matter of rallying more troops for the team, who will have their first game on Sept. 22.
“I’m hoping to see 25 kids out there for [the junior and senior teams],” Pollock said. “It would be really nice to see 50 kids out enjoying themselves.”
Pollock has been coaching football for 12 years, nine with the Sooke Seahawks as one of the league’s first coaches, and three with the Victoria Hitmen — where he led them to claim the provincial title two years in a row.
His work with minor league football earned him a nomination for the Scotiabank Game Changers competition, which is designed to recognize individuals who’ve made a difference in their communities in the areas of health, education, social services, arts, sports and the environment.
Pollock was one of 72 entrants across the country to receive the title of Regional Game Changer, and with that award came the opportunity to do the coin toss at the BC Lions home opener.
“It was an experience of a lifetime,” Pollock said.
“I coach for the kids, and I coach because I enjoy it. So I certainly don’t expect anything else from it, but boy, was this ever a really nice surprise.”
As a Regional Game Changer, Pollock could be one of eight finalists to be selected for the the National Game Changer title.
The top spot winner, determined by jury and public voting, is awarded $100,000 to donate to a charity of his or her choice.
To vote and check out Pollock’s Game Changer online profile, visit: https://www.scotiabankgamechangers.com/