With their largest spring camp in years, possibly ever, the Bow Valley Bobcats are picking up where they left off last season in rebuilding their football program.
With already over 40 players on the roster and more expected in the fall, they've had an extended football camp this spring and are continuing to rally the school and community around their team.
"It's very different than years previous," says head coach Dustin Paul, who is a Bobcats alumni. "The tide is starting to turn and there are more and more people who are buying in and wanting to become involved, especially in the school itself. Shane Dempster, the principal, has been pushing football for us, which is huge. It's something we haven't had probably since I played here 20 years ago."
Today, they're out collecting bottles from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and empties can also be dropped off at the school in that same time window. Proceeds will be used to upgrade equipment for their players and coaching staff.
Paul says there's more to building a football team than having a healthy roster of players.
"There's plenty of ways to get involved, and there's a spot for everybody. Whether it's somebody who wants to run the scoreboard, play music, or whatever, we'll find a spot for you."
Adding to the excitement will be the first Blue and White Game and Skills Competition at the SLS Legacy Sports Field on June 10 from 1 to 5 p.m.
It includes a Tackle Your Kid fundraiser, a special appearance by Super Mario and Luigi and the Paw Patrol Crew, face painting, and food trucks, which have become a staple of Bobcats games.
Admission is $10 per family or $5 for youth. Half of the proceeds will be donated to Garcia Rescue, who will be at the game with some of their adoptable pets. Donations of dog and cat food will also be accepted.
Paul says half of the money raised will be donated to Garcia Rescue and the other half will be used to purchase new gear for the team.