Coach leaving Marauders on high note

After six seasons at the helm of the Pitt Meadows Marauders football program, Matt Todd is moving on.

The Pitt Meadows Marauders are going to have a competitive varsity team next season

The Pitt Meadows Marauders are going to have a competitive varsity team next season

After six seasons at the helm of the Pitt Meadows Marauders football program, Matt Todd is moving on.

“It’s going to be hard to go.”

He is bowing out after his best season – the Marauders won their first provincial championship at the varsity Tier 2 level this year.

Todd explained that Pitt stepped down from the double-A division last season, because the team was so young. He was sending out Grade 9 players last season, juniors, and couldn’t throw them into the meat grinder of competing against senior varsity players who are both bigger and more experienced.

“Grade 9s are able to play at that level (Tier 2), where at double-A, it would be too unsafe.”

But now Pitt is a well-seasoned team, and the squad graduates only three Grade 12s. Todd expects the Marauders to re-enter the double-A league again next year, and be one of the top 10 in the provincial rankings as the season begins.

“We should be very competitive.”

Todd has run the senior team for five of his six years at Pitt. There have been many highlights to coaching high school football, and not just championships. For some kids, football gives them another reason to get excited about going to school in the morning.

“Working with the kids … you get a lot out of it by seeing kids who maybe struggle with school stick with it because of football.”

He has also enjoyed seeing some of his former athletes excel, like Rashaun Simonise, who was a Canadian college star wide receiver, and got a tryout with the Cincinnati Bengals this year. Todd expects to see him in the CFL next season, and will be watching.

Ryan Beaubien is another one to watch, as the junior with the Valley Huskers is a kicker, running back and defensive back.

The vacant coaching position Todd leaves is strictly volunteer, but there will be six or seven returning coaches in the Pitt Meadows program.

The school is accepting applications for head coach and director of football operations who will oversee the varsity, junior varsity and Grade 8 teams, and be the varsity head coach. The new director will report directly to the school’s athletic director.

In addition to organizing the coaching staff and making sure everyone is certified, the director will organize a parent committee and plan fundraisers.

The school is looking for someone with all the relevant certifications and three years of experience, minimum, as a varsity head coach.

Applications must be in by Jan. 20th, emailed to principal Mike Keenan at mkeenan@sd42.ca.

Todd will help choose his replacement. Then he is moving his family to Kelowna, and hopes he will one day get the chance to run a football program there.