Valley Minor Football Bulldogs begin 17th year

John Decoste
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Mite, atom, peewee and bantam football teams gear up for season

Valley Minor Football is heading into the season with teams in four youth divisions and plenty of changes on and around the field. September marks the Bulldogs’ 17th year.

Rob Suffron, in his second year as the association’s president, says the four teams started camp Aug. 11 and are all busy getting ready for the new season.

The three competitive teams – atom, peewee and bantam - were scheduled to play their first pre-season games Aug. 23 in Bridgewater. The atoms and bantams are both scheduled to play pre-season games at home this coming weekend – the atoms Aug. 30 against Fall River and the bantams against Bedford-Sackville Aug. 31.

The mites, kids ages six to eight, play a series of developmental jamborees during the season, including one at home.

All three competitive Bulldogs teams are scheduled to play their season openers Sept. 7 against Truro – the bantams at 10 a.m., the peewees at noon and the atoms at 2 p.m. – at Kinsmen Field in Canning.

All four Bulldogs’ teams have new coaches this year, though none of them are new to Valley Minor Football. The new mite head coach is Jonathan Ingles, a former bantam Bulldogs and Central Kings head coach now back in the Valley after working in Northern Ireland. The other three coaches have all moved up a division: Paul Arsenault from the mites to the atoms, Suffron from the atoms to the peewees and Kevin Hayes from the peewees to the bantams.

Suffron said there have been some fairly major changes to the home field this season. The biggest addition is four new portable lights – which are currently on loan to the department of transportation for use in night highway construction.

Once the football season starts, the lights will be placed around parts of the field to allow for practices to be held after dark.  Valley Minor Football has purchased a Gator utility vehicle, with the help of Green Diamond Equipment, for transporting the lights.

Kinsmen Field will also feature new goalposts this year. The old goalposts have been donated to NKEC Titans football, and will be installed on a practice field behind the school. The Bulldogs’ clubhouse has new electrical and plumbing systems. The teams have new pads and other gear this year, to go along with the new uniforms they got last season.

The money for the improvements came through supporters, as well as grants from the provincial government and the Kentville Rotary Club. 

 

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