CJFL Weekend Warrior: Derek Walde

by Jan Antons

He will be asked to be a leader entering his fourth CJFL season

Photo courtesy of Jim Motokado

The Kamloops Broncos program has grown by leaps and bounds over the last three seasons.  A big reason is the play of their offensive line, blowing open holes for running back and giving quarterbacks time to throw the ball down the field.

Derek Walde has made a major impact on the Broncos line as he prepares for his fourth season at Hillside Stadium.

How did the kid from Kinderlsey Saskatchewan find his way west in the first place? “Coming out of High school in Sask, I went to the Hilltops camp like most kids and ended up making the roster but opted for the Broncos because I had the opportunity to play right away and loved atmosphere.  At that time, Head Coach Duncan Olthuis made me feel right at home and players like Cam Brown, Sheldon Brown and Jack Gilliland were awesome and helped me feel welcome in the organization when I came out for their spring camp.”

Returning to the Broncos for his fourth season is a no brainer, “I love football and the guys in the locker room.  There is nothing else I’d rather be doing.  Plus we had some good building blocks for a good team, couldn't quite put them together last year till near the end, but it was promising.”

This offseason Walde is very focused on what he needs to do to become an All-Star in the CJFL, “Stronger first and foremost as I’m really trying to increase my explosive strength.  Then flexibility and injury prevention is a key emphasis, football is grueling so I try to stay healthy and move well.  Technique drills to make me move more efficiently. Lastly increase my mental side of the game, working with my offensive coordinator Jesse Neufeld , trying to understand the game better and better recognition of blitzes and defensive fronts. Because I’m on the smaller size in height you have to be physically and mentally stronger than your opponent in order to have success.”

Not only is he focussing in the gym, but in the classroom as well, “Currently I’m a student at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops and working on my Bachelor of Arts degree.  I am working towards a major in history and minor in math.  Then eventually transfer to an education program down the line.”

In his spare time he goes by the name of “Coach Walde” volunteering as the offensive and defensive line coach at South Kamloops Secondary.  During the month of May and June, he’s back in Saskatchewan working at the family farm and even getting in a slo-pitch game or two.  He also enjoys heading to the lake and doing a little waterskiing, wakeboarding and surfing.”

Following his junior career he plans to “play CIS ball and get my education degree, then go back to my hometown in Kinderlsey or close by and start teaching and coach high school football.”

As the season draws closer Walde will be asked to become a leader on and off the field.  Something he excels in.

Derek Walde of the Kamloops Broncos is a CJFL Weekend Warrior.