University of Manitoba Bisons safety Tyler Fong (19) helps wrap up a UBC Thunderbirds ball carrier in CIS football action last season. Fong, a native of Langford and former Westshore Rebels and Mount Douglas Rams player, joins his teammates this Friday (Aug. 26) in the first Thunder Bowl exhibition game against defending Vanier Cup champion UBC at Westhills Stadium.
— Image Credit: Photo By Jeff Miller/Courtesy University Of Manitoba Athletics
A Langford native son and former Westshore Rebels player is excited to be coming home, however briefly, for the inaugural Vancouver Island Thunder Bowl at Westhills Stadium this Friday.
Tyler Fong, a fourth-year safety with the University of Manitoba football team, will suit up for the Bisons for the highly anticipated exhibition game against the defending Vanier Cup champion UBC Thunderbirds. Kickoff is 7 p.m. and fans can expect a Friday Night Lights style atmosphere.
“It’s one more chance to play at home in front of my friends and family,” said Fong, who is entering his pro draft year.
The Bisons finished third in the Canada West conference last year, after winning the title the year before. Fong feels he and his teammates have some unfinished business with the T-Birds.
“UBC is great competition; it’ll be good to see what they’ve got coming out of training camp,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a good game.”
A graduate of the Mount Douglas Rams high school football program, Fong attended Simon Fraser University for a year before joining the Rebels for a season. The year playing junior ball helped prepare him for the rigours of CIS ball, said Fong, who earned a scholarship to play for the Bisons.
“The BCFC is a pretty good conference,” he said, adding it gives players looking for more playing time a good option. “The players out here always have a high calibre, but a lot of guys don’t know what they want to do,” he said, referring to developing players who might otherwise ride the bench with a CIS program.
A number of Greater Victoria players will be playing Friday, including linebacker Julian Luis for the Bisons, and tailback Marcus Davis for UBC.
Proceeds from the game benefit Greater Victoria Minor Football, the Westshore Rebels and the UBC Football Island Scholarship Fund. For ticket information, visit vithunderbowl.com.