2010 - The Raiders
In the fall of 1987 two Dolphin players, Henry “Hank” Mielczarek (retired 2003) and Doug “Hammer” Hamon (retired too many times to count) along with Ed Lisogar (retired 1991) decided to start a new touch football team. The first people they added were Buc, Ron Hamilton and a good friend, Doug Okahori. They were sponsored by the Royal Towers Hotel and came to be known as the Royal Towers Raiders. After a couple of years the Royal Towers dropped the sponsorship and from that day forward the team was known as the Raiders.
The concept of the team was to gather as many Top Flight players as they could who were looking to have a little more fun and play a position or two that they were currently not getting a chance to on their current competitive Top Flight team. When the Raiders first started, there were 2 divisions of Top Flight and a few divisions of Intermediate and the Raiders started out in Intermediate Division I. Over the years Touch Football BC has changed dramatically but for the most part the Raiders positioned themselves as a top Intermediate level team. As the overall team numbers have dwindled over the years the Raiders have bounced back and forth between Top Flight and Intermediate.
In the Spring of 1988 the team began bringing on like-minded, beer drinking players to make them more competitive on and off the field. The Raiders were starting to take shape which included a merger with Blair “Butt” Edward’s (retired 1999) team and the first of a number of Hawks, Cliff “Carnage” Craven (moved away in 2000 but is still playing in the Vancouver Island Flag Football League www.viffl.com). Joining Cliff were two Bucs, Don “Barnyard” Banyard and Glen “Bing” Bingley and Lee “Leepay” Pay (retired in 2009) and Al “Bubbles” Henry (still playing), soon followed by Owen “01” Broad (moved away and retired in 2002) and Doug “Hacksaw” Isaac (retired 2005). In the Spring of 1989 a couple more Hawks Scott “Scotty” Paterson (retired 1999) and Dan “Lapper” Lappin (retired 2002) joined up with the Raiders as well as Buc, Colin “Fark” Farrell (retired 1997) who was coming off another lengthy knee injury.
Fall 2010 Top Flight Champs
Raiders Hall of Fame Roster
Henry “Hank” Mielczarek (1987 - 2003)
Our first quarterback Doug Hamon retired and unretired a few times. During one of his sabbaticals the Raiders picked up former CFL and Pharmasave quarterback, Mike “Notthead” Nott, who led the team for about 4 seasons.
In the Spring of 1991 Saints, Jeff Taylor (taking this season off) joined the squad followed by Stu Ham (still playing) in the Fall of 1991. Next season three Barons - Tim “Timber” Madden (retired 2004), Blair “Blear” Anderson (retired 2003) and Ray “Jack” Morton (retired 1994) all saw the light and joined up with the Raiders. Soon after retiring from the CFL (1991), x-BC Lion and Argo slotback, Jan Carinci, joined the Raiders and played for about 3 years (6 seasons).
There have been many, many other players who joined the Raiders over the years and played at least 5+ years including Brian “Dog Balls” Wadden, Adam Lake, Rick McMorran, and Mike “Mr. Potatohead” Anderson.
Every May long weekend the Raiders would head to Kelowna for May Bowl. A tradition that had been started many years before by all of the Top Flight players who had formed the Raiders. It was during one of these annual treks to Kelowna that the Raiders were faced with not having a starting quarterback and we convinced, hall of famer, Duncan Kerr (retired 2010) to join us for the tournament. Within a few years Duncan’s team (Bears) folded and he brought over some of his teammates like Craig Lindgaard (still playing), Kevin “Bear” Robertson (retired 2005), Jim Head (still playing), Jon Winebrenner (retired 2010), Al Bolan (retired 2010) and Avtar Randhawa (still playing). Another Buc, Jim Moorcroft, would often join the Raiders for the May Bowl and finally after many years joined the team.
The Raiders have won 3 Intermediate titles at May Bowl along with a number of 2nd place finishes, including 2009. The only players to play on all three May Bowl champions are Duncan Kerr, Lee Pay, Al Henry and Stu Ham.
In 1994 the Canadian Championships were held in Kelowna and the Raiders lost the consolation final to the Psychedelic Pineapples from Saskatoon! In 1998 the Raiders went to the Canadians in Saskatoon and the highlight of the tournament was a massive snow storm. The lads took a quick out from the tournament and a down, out and up to the bars.
The Raiders won an Intermediate Spring championship in the early 2000’s and in 2008 they lost the fall Top-Flight championship game to the Panthers by 6 points. In the Fall of 2009 they lost 35-34 to the Cowboys in the semi's of the Top Flight championship with the Cowboys scoring on the last play of the game. The Cowboys went on to win the Top Flight final 40-6.
In August 2008 the Raiders won the Rally Rai Tournament and again in August 2010. Recently, the Raiders have merged with a team called Pegasus (average age 22 years old). This has provided the veteran squad the luxury of having a collection of interchangeable speedy rushers, receivers, and defenders to mix with an aging but wily core. The challenge now is one that is faced by all touch football teams, keeping the young talent out of the bars on Saturday nights so we have a competitive team on Sunday mornings!