An estimated 75 players from across the country landed in Kelowna on Friday night for Day 1 of Okanagan Sun training camp at the Apple Bowl.
As you might imagine, communication was goal No. 1 for new head coach Jamie Boreham.
“People have got to speak the same language,” he said. “People are coming from across the country, and different programs.”
The coach said that while they won’t start the season until Aug. 3 against the Kamloops Broncos, there is much to accomplish this weekend.
Friday night, coaches split offence and defence into smaller groups. They’re teaching players how the season will “sound.” Even the veterans need to learn new shorthand with a new head coach at the helm.
“We need to make sure certain things happen,” Boreham said, and “get the simplicities taken care of.”
Boreham takes over from the departed Ben Macauley, who led the Sun to the B.C. Football Conference final last season. The Sun lost 39-7 to the Langley Rams after finishing 7-2-1 and first in the regular season. Days later, Macauley resigned to spend more time with a young family.
Boreham, a Grey Cup winner with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, has stepped in to become a head football coach for the first time.
He’s a former Sun assistant, but of course it will be a different team under his watch.
“I’m guessing,” he said after practice on Friday night. “I’m different. I coach different. I’ve been around, so I’m a different person. We’ll definitely have, probably, a different intensity to us. We’ll make sure we’re accountable on and off the field.”
Boreham said he likes his group.
“We’ve got a good bunch of good top-end guys and older vets that have been around and understand what this is and understand exactly why we’re here,” Boreham said.
Not that it’s all about wins and losses for Boreham.
“I think that’s just big in terms of helping these guys grow as individuals, not only in football, but in life, too. We want them to come here and play football and be successful here, but we want them to be successful in life, too.”
Sun camp continues all weekend.
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