The football program has not been in place all that long at Edward Milne Community School, but long enough for a bit of a min-tradition to be born.
For the past several years, at least, game in – game out… #81 Ethan Wedel has been relied upon for a total effort.
As a junior and senior varsity player the tall and lean receiver has proven what’s possible when raw talent and desire is refined by hard work and adherence to coaching directives. The work has not gone unnoticed.
Ethan recently made the trip to the Mainland for an appearance in a top B.C. Highschool football event – the annual Senior Bowl played at Empire Field, temporary home of the BC Lions and Vancouver Whitecaps.
The game itself was the culmination of a week-long football camp in which worthy gridiron prospects get the benefit of high-end instruction in an environment populated by peers.
“Ethan had a good Senior Bowl camp,” assessed head coach Dino Geremia of Football BC, the governing body of amateur football in the province.
“Overall it was a good group of receivers and Ethan was in the upper half. He showed again that he has progressed as a receiver and most notably possesses soft hands and caught everything coming his way.”
This kind of referral is almost like money in the bank for a young player.
The event itself got more than a passing grade from the Sooke athlete.
“The Senior Bowl All-Star (east vs. west) game and camp was done very well – very organized and fair,” stated Ethan in an April 1 email.
“They made sure that there were more than two coaches for every position. The coaches were skilled at drills and one-on-one coaching. All players were given alot of play-time during the game.”
These are key points because without competent organization and execution, such a sizable event can wind up being more frustrating than productive.
Players from across the province were beneficiaries of first rate instruction of proven tactics and they got to compare notes with colleagues, new and old.
“I knew a few players from last year’s Team BC camp,” Ethan related, “and from the Victoria Spartans team (we played together on the Westshore Warriors a few years ago). I made a new friend with a player (Brodie Squire) from Courtney’s Isfeld Polar Bears who EMCS played against last fall.”
It would be hard to deny the excitement of being called upon to perform at a new level versus top competition, under the experienced scrutiny of professional football men.
“It was a challenge to play at the skill level that some of the players were at,” Wedel reflected, “nothing I’ve gone up against before during league games.”
Some defensive backs will no doubt be burned a time or to in years to come by moves taught to Ethan by long-time CFL star Travis Moore – currently a coach with the BC Lions.
To sum things up, Ethan’s Senior Bowl week was memorable and worthwhile, topped off by his ability to make a meaningful contribution to a 21-14 west-over-east win.
Ethan also had positive feedback for the VI Raiders Identification Clinic he’d used as a warm-up for the Vancouver camp. He was among those invited back for the junior football powerhouse Raiders’ try-out camp later this spring.
Humble, studious, focussed, and naturally gifted, Ethan seems absolutely destined for success in whatever he may turn his attention to.
“It is a privilege to have many years of community and high school football lead up to this experience,” he said of his recent noticeable achievements.
“It’s the dedication and support of the local coaches, team-mates, families and sponsors that gives me the chance to pursue a future in this sport,” Ethan concluded.