Rookie helps West Kelowna team win championship

Summerland's Simon Paul wins B.C. junior bantam nine-man football championship

THE B.C. CHAMPION RedBlacks are: Zachari White

THE B.C. CHAMPION RedBlacks are: Zachari White

Warren Hendeson

Black Press

Mitch Kopp was virtually unstoppable and so were his West Kelowna RedBlacks en route to the 2014 B.C. junior bantam nine-man football championship.

The RedBlacks, who won the Southern Interior title a week earlier, defeated the Prince George Blackjacks 36-6 on Nov. 23 in the provincial final in Kamloops.

Kopp scored five touchdowns, four on the ground and one on a pass reception. He finished the day with nine carries for 160 yards rushing and 44 yards on two receptions.

Quarterback Dylan Milligan was three-for-five in passing for 65 yards and threw a touchdown pass.

Noah Lindsay rushed for 50 yards, while Zander Large had 21 yards receiving.

Summerland’s Simon Paul, a rookie defensive and offensive lineman for the RedBlacks, said it was awesome to help his team win.

“Scary too, never been in any provincials so I was quite nervous,” he wrote in an email.

Paul, who played his best game, was nervous because he didn’t know what Prince George was like. However, once the game started it was just football.

Kopp was named the game’s most valuable player, while Lindsay earned the most sportsmanlike player honours.

The B.C. champion RedBlacks are: Zachari White, Dylan Milligan, Justin Orge, Zander Large, Noah Lindsay, Shamus Hogarth, Paul, Riley Green, Isaac Witt, Taylor Schwinghamer, Teja Gaskell, Alexander Houghton, Kyren Peterman, Paul Hauk, Mitch Kopp, Dylan Hilts, Jordan Lee and Colby Dupuis.

Paul, who stands six-foot-one, 220 pounds, decided to try football as he thought it would be similar to rugby, which he played at school.

“I love the contact, the teamwork and the new friends I have made,” wrote Paul, who was also convinced by his coach Kevin Lindsey, who saw him play in spring-league hockey, to try out.