The junior football season is days away from kicking off and new head coach Khari Joseph is anxious to see what he has with the Langley Rams.
And while the team is young — they are returning about 35 to 40 players, many of them in their second season — Joseph is optimistic.
“I feel really good about the players — we have a lot of talent — it is just a matter of getting them all on the same page,” he said.
The Rams kick off the 2016 BC Football Conference season on Sunday when they visit the Westshore Rebels.
In addition to his head coaching duties, Joseph will continue to serve as defensive co-ordinator.
“We are going to be an aggressive defence, a physical defence. We are going to be relentless to the ball. That is what I have always preached,” he said.
“You have to base your system around the players you have but because I have so many returning guys, a lot of the things we did last year we are going to do this year and then build on.”
On the offensive side of the ball, former Rams quarterback — he was with the team from 1992 to 1995 — Shawn Olson returns to the junior football club to serve as offensive co-ordinator. He has previously been a head coach at both Simon Fraser University and UBC.
While the offence continues to learn Olson’s system — a starting quarterback has yet to be announced — Joseph did say the focus will be taking advantage of their skill players.
“I know the whole thing about our offence is getting the ball into our playmakers’ hands … quick passing game, running game that is going to attack teams horizontally and vertically,” Joseph said.
“We want to attack the whole field and use up the whole field and attack the whole field on all levels.”
Overall, the team is anxious to see game action.
“They are really jacked up, they are really excited but they know they have a lot of work to do,” Joseph said.
One thing the coach has noticed is an improvement in team chemistry.
“Guys are getting along across the team,” he said.
“I feel like the chemistry and the team family atmosphere we are trying to build, I am really happy that it has improved from this time last year.
“This is what it is about, you have to fight for the men beside you.”
The Rams are also on the road in week two when they visit the Valley Huskers in Chilliwack on July 30.
Langley’s first home game at McLeod Athletic Park is set for Aug. 6 at 7 p.m. against the Kamloops Broncos.