Roadrunners quarterback Kevin Wiens injured his Achilles tendon

Roadrunners can still win conference: Watrin

Last season's provincial champs, the MSS Roadrunners look to repeat

The Mission Secondary School Roadrunners realize there’s more than just numbers affixed to their jerseys.

The reigning provincial AA football champs are gearing up for the regular season, and know they’re the highlight team in most everyone’s schedule.

“It’s an expectation,” said head coach Kevin Watrin. “We knew we would have targets on our backs.”

And while the team is getting stronger, faster and more competent with each practice and exhibition game, Watrin is well aware that the 2012-13 team isn’t last year’s, not is it even last year’s junior varsity squad, which also made its way to the finals, but lost to John Barsby.

The coach says he’s a “process” type of person, and guides his players accordingly — everything builds up. Staying strong in the gym, plus skillfull drills, repetitions and plays makes for good practices. Good practices leads to confidence and to good games.

All his players are working hard to improve, said Watrin, repeating his mantra: “You don’t know if you’ve done enough until you find out you haven’t.”

One of the team’s strongest assets, quarterback Kevin Wiens who was on last year’s championship team, is on the mend right now after injuring his Achilles tendon in practice a couple weeks back. He is expected to return in time for regular season play, said Watrin.

And how does a coach feel when he first thought he was potentially losing one of his best players?

“It was a bit like getting slugged in the gut. A lot of expectations were riding on how [Wiens] performs. He’s that good of an athlete,” he stated.

And while the team and coaching staff want Wiens back in the mix as soon as possible, they will “be careful in reintroducing him.

“That’s the difficult thing as a coach. He’ll want to play sooner than he’s ready.”

Filling in is Evan Horton, who usually plays running back, but has a strong arm. His natural athleticism is helping him, but his technique is still being refined by the coaching staff, Watrin added.

Other likely standouts for the season are going to be Hyatt Smith, playing outside linebacker and slotback, and Parker Johnson, a tail/cornerback.

“Smith covers a lot of ground on defense. He’s very fast and definitely a university-calibre player.”

Johnson can also play in the slotback and wide receiver spot, too, adding choices for the coaches.

Watrin remains confident the Roadrunners can win its league, but he’s predicting the games will be much closer in score.

“The conference is tighter than it was last year,” he said.

This Saturday, MSS plays an exhibition game against the AAA WJ Mouat Hawks at home, starting at 11 a.m. On Sept. 21, the last exhibition match of the season happens in Coquitlam against Centennial.

The regular season home opener is Oct. 6 against Pitt Meadows. Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m.

Just Posted

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

VIDEO, PHOTOS: Family Day in Mission

Residents flocked to the Mission Leisure Centre to enjoy free, family-friendly activities

Slippery road conditions plague Mission drivers

Tuesday mornings snowfall is creating a challenge for motorists

How much does your city spend per person on snow removal?

Black Press Media compares 2018 ice and snow removal budgets of various Lower Mainland communities

Snowfall warning: 5-10 cm expected in Lower Mainland

The snowfall will start Tuesday and carry on into the evening, before tapering off Wednesday

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

Abbotsford man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Most Read