Kamenz shows his strong side for Rifles


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 26/10/2022 (216 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Brandon Kamenz is a 21-year-old SAM linebacker in his fourth year with the Winnipeg Rifles junior football team, which plays in the Prairie Conference of the Canadian Junior Football League.

Before switching to playing strong-side linebacker, he was a defensive back.

“DB was fun and challenging with lots of running backwards. You always have the fastest guys running at you,” he said. “Switching to SAM wasn’t that much of a change, because I am outside the box and in coverage a bunch. The hard part was learning how to be effective at stopping the run. My eye-discipline had to get a lot better. We are coached to not watch the running back, but to read the offensive lineman and to make plays off those reads.”

The Rifles are a close-knit group who see each other as brothers.

“Our team does a good job of making that environment happen. It’s real important away from the field to become good friends,” Brandon said. “When you become good friends away from the field it really helps the trust factor on the field, and when that happens everyone is going to do a better job.”

Brandon lives in St. Vital with his mom Janine, dad Kent, and brother Justin.

“My parents have helped me a lot,” he said. “They gave me rides everywhere until I got my license and my own car. They are always super-supportive and they have always been there to help me out. My love of football came from my dad. We would always watch games together. Then some of my buddies started playing. Then I started playing, and here we are.”

Football is definitely Brandon’s favourite sport.

“I love the intensity. There is never a moment you can just be coasting,” he said. “You have always got to have your eyes wide open and head on a swivel to make sure you don’t get blown up.”

Rifles head coach Geordie Wilson is very impressed with what Brandon brings to the table.

“He is a hard-working young man, an outstanding leader and person with a knack for making big plays at the right time. I am so glad he is on our team,” Wilson said.

Brandon has the goal to play football at a university.

“I am trying to get recruited. I have to make a highlight tape and send it out to universities,” he said. “Then, hopefully, I get a call back.”

Brandon offers this advice to young athletes: “Keep working. Don’t take any days off. Take advice from coaches and teammates around you.”

(The Rifles were scheduled to play the Regina Thunder in a playoff game on Sunday, Oct. 23, which was after deadline for this submission.)

Troy Westwood

Troy Westwood
Westwood's Sports Heroes

Former Winnipeg Blue Bombers kicker Troy Westwood writes about Winnipeg’s unsung sports heroes every other week in the Canstar Community News weeklies.

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