Morning Star Staff
They started playing football together at age seven in Vernon. It was only fitting that Adam Nesbitt and Tyler Lee wrapped up their Junior careers on the same club – the Kamloops Broncos.
The 22-year-old Seaton Sonics grads went out in pretty good style too.
Nesbitt, a 6-foot-1, 208-pound defensive back, set the franchise record for most interceptions in a season with seven. That stat was tops in the B.C. Football Conference and second in all of Canada. Not bad for someone who only started playing defence this season.
“I tried to make the switch last year but we lost a couple receivers and the coaches felt I would be more of asset as a receiver, but it turns out I really wasn’t,” said Nesbitt, named the 2-8 Broncos’ Most Outstanding Defensive Player.
Lee, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound middle linebacker, led the Conference with 41 solo tackles and added 6.5 sacks. On offence, he scored three touchdowns on eight catches as a slotback. He was named team MVP. Both players merited BCFC all-star recognition.
“The MVP felt good. I feel that I earned it playing here five years and never missed a game or got injured,” said Lee, who works as an electrician apprentice at the Gibraltar Mine near Williams Lake.
“The BCFC all-star was a bigger accomplishment, finally getting some respect from the voters after being in the top-five in defensive points the past three seasons.
“I was kind of disappointed I didn’t earn all-Canadian honours, but that’s mostly because of our team’s record.”
Nesbitt’s football career has run the full positional gamut. He spent his days with the Sonics tossing bombs as the quarterback for coach Ryan Reid’s pass-happy offence. He then earned a scholarship to the University of Saskatchewan Huskies (Reid’s Alma mater) where he switched to receiver.
“I didn’t feel Saskatchewan was a good fit for me after my two years there,” said Nesbitt, who works in the service department at the Nissan dealership in Kamloops. “After that, I wanted to go somewhere just to play football, and Kamloops was a lot closer to home.”
Asked what the biggest challenge in switching over to defence was, Nesbitt replied: “The read and react. When you’re on the corner, it’s like you’re on an island with another athlete and it’s just man-on-man, one-on-one. Who’s going to make the better play.
“The biggest disadvantage for me was having to run backwards. But for some reason it just felt real natural being out on the corner.”
Neither Lee nor Nesbitt has given up on going further in football. Both are hoping to receive invites to B.C. Lions’ spring ID camp, and both have also received scouting interest from the University of Alberta Golden Bears and UBC Thunderbirds.
“I’m thankful to the Broncos for giving me all the playing time needed to get scouted and move on to the next level,” said Lee.
Added Nesbitt: “It’s been my dream since I was about five to play professional football. I feel it’s only a couple years away where I can step forward and accomplish something like that.”
Added Lee: “Adam is a great roommate and teammate. He has awesome work ethic and is always pushing me to lift more in offseason training and never letting me miss a workout. He has a really good understanding for the game and I wouldn’t want anyone else playing corner on my defence.”