The first B.C. Best in Class football camp takes place in Abbotsford on Friday (March 27).

The first B.C. Best in Class football camp takes place in Abbotsford on Friday (March 27).

The first B.C. Best in Class football camp takes place in Abbotsford

Started by Abbotsford Senior QB coach Jason Quinter to honour the legacy of his father Bill

There was always a football field nearby as Jason Quinter was growing up. His father Bill played for the Canadian Football League’s Ottawa Rough Riders and later became a coach, GM and renowned talent evaluator in the CFL and NFL, from B.C. to New Orleans and lots of stops in between.

Along with being the architect of some Grey Cup championship teams, one of his father’s other important legacies was starting high school football development camps in Vancouver and around the province in the late 1970s. Those camps would later morph into the annual Senior Bowl camp and game for top players in the province.

Bill passed away last year at age 74 and Jason wanted to carry on the work of offering affordable, competitive and well-coached camps for high school football players.

“[I wanted to] try to follow my father’s legacy and continue the work he began,” said Quinter, who works in the software industry and is also the quarterback coach for the Abbotsford Senior Panthers varsity squad.

To keep his father’s legacy going, Quinter is kicking off B.C. Best in Class football camps that will take place around the province.

Three of the camps are scheduled in Abbotsford, with the first taking place today (March 27) from 3:30 to 6 p.m. at Abbotsford High School.

The other camps in Abbotsford take place at the same time and location on April 10 and May 8.

To make sure the camps are accessible to all, Quinter has kept the cost low: $25 for a one-day camp.

Quinter noted that the camps are not-for-profit, with player fees going towards awards, trophies and five annual $1,000 scholarships.

“These camps were created to give all local high school kids the opportunity to get high level coaching while competing against the best players in the province.”

The top players from each of the seven preliminary camps will then be invited to a final camp in June to determine the “Best in Class” at each position.

Quinter believes the camps will give exposure to players who want to continue playing at the next level, either university or junior ball.

He’s even set up a recruiting database to help connect players with CIS football programs across the country. Already, 27 players have committed to schools as a result.

“I wanted to do something to honour [my dad] and open up opportunities for these kids to secure their education and play football at the next level,” said Quinter.

He also expects to have university recruiters at the final camp in June. The camps are being run by Quinter, along with  fellow Abbotsford Senior coaches Elmore Abraham (defensive co-ordinator) and Jay Fujimura (head coach and athletic director).

Additionally, there will be current and former B.C. Lion players helping out as guest coaches and speakers at the camp, including Paul McCallum, Kelly Lochbaum, Daved Benefield, Sean Millington, and Nick Hebeler.

For more information about the upcoming football camps, search for “B.C. Best in Class” on Facebook.