Talent upgrade on display at Valley Huskers spring camp

Coach Bob Reist had a great offseason on paper, and got his new players on the field last weekend.

Bob Reist could hardly hold himself back as he talked about Huskers spring camp Tuesday morning.

Reist’s junior football squad had 75 players on the field at Exhibition Stadium Friday through Sunday, and the head coach was impressed.

“We were hoping to raise the offensive talent level (from last year), especially in the offensive playmaker category, and I was extremely excited with what I saw,” Reist said. “We brought in a lot of receivers and a lot of running backs, and the guys we brought in performed really well.”

Leading the charge was new quarterback Julian Wytinck, as the Manitoba Bisons import chucked the ball all over the yard.

“Julian was unbelievable, exactly as advertised,” Reist gushed. “He was strong. He was confident. He delivered some throws that are very tough to make, especially to the wide side of the field.”

Langley native Nicolas Nica, who will be competed with Wytinck for the QB1 position, also impressed.

“Nic has put on significant muscle mass this year and came into camp in great shape,” Reist noted. “He knows it’s going to be a battle and it was good to see him come in ready to compete and push Julian.”

Speedy slot receiver Brandon Poulin, another Bisons import, was, according to Reist, almost unstoppable.

“When you’re bringing in big names you want to see them perform and he absolutely performed.”

Remis Tshiovo and Von Richardson both drew good reviews at the running back position.

On the other side of the ball, the coach identified the defensive line as a standout group, led by a player who Reist was hoping to get signed in the next few days. Defensive tackle Connor Kyliuk, formerly with the McGill U Redmen, looked like he could be disruptive and dominant at this level.

Daniel Mills, an Abbotsford native who played two years with the Huskers in 2014-15 before jumping to the University of Saskatchewan, is back and impressed at defensive back.

“He was extremely solid in coverage and in the run game,” Reist said. “He’s a fifth-year guy who will be a huge addition, adding a calming veteran presence to an already talented secondary.”

Soon to be GW Graham grad Dion Kelly was solid at linebacker.

The team will gather again for the start of training camp on July 7.

The B.C. Football Conference regular season kicks off Aug. 5 at Exhibition Stadium as the Huskers host the Vancouver Island Raiders.

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