The Canadian Junior Football League is pleased to announce the 2017 schedule that kicks off in the BC Conference (BCFC) on Saturday July 29, 2017.
Following the BCFC kick off, both the Prairie Conference (PFC) and the Ontario Conference (OFC) will open the season on August 12th with a pair of interconferene games. The Winnipeg Rifles visit the Ottawa Sooners and the Windsor AKO Fratmen host the Edmonton Huskies
This season marks the return of the OFC who now comply with the rest of the CJFL and capping the age limit to 22.
This season also highlights six CJFL Interconference games including 10 teams from the PFC and OFC. The first two are set for August 12, then a pair on August 26th, before concluding on the weekend of September 23-24th.
The CJFL playoffs will open the weekend of October 14-15, followed by the conference championships October 21-22. With the return of the OFC, the CJFL will host a National Semi-Final game this season which will see the winner of the PFC host the winner of the BCFC on October 28. Two weeks after that game the winner will travel to Ontario and face the winner of the OFC title in the 2017 Canadian Bowl on November 11th.
Each of the Conference schedules are below:
Former CJFL wide receiver Nate Coehoorn has officially retired from the Canadian Football League, the Edmonton Eskimos confirmed on Monday.
Originally drafted fifth overall by Edmonton in the 2011 CFL Draft, the former Okanagan Sun receiver played his entire six-year career in Green and Gold.
In 91 career CFL games, Coehoorn amassed 211 catches for 2,379 yards and six touchdowns.
A member of the 2015 Grey Cup championship team, his crucial nine-yard reception helped to set up the game-winning touchdown.
He was a unanimous BC Conference All-Star selection back in 2006. Following the Sun he attended the University of Calgary and was the leading receiver in 2010 with 28 catches for 416 yards. He earned Canada West All-Star honours for three consecutive seasons. He also led the Dinos in all-purpose yards with 1,025 and led Canada West in punt return yardage with 494 yards on 42 attempts.
Congratulations on a wonderful career Nate!
Photo courtesy of Greystoke Photography
When the Okanagan Sun hit the field this season they will be without one of their leaders and most likeable personalities, following the graduation of fullback Kasey Russell.
On the field the Winnipeg native filled a job most don’t find glamorous and became one of the best running back blockers in Sun history. He never shied away from getting his nose dirty and was responsible numerous times for the Sun offence to rattle off big plays. “He’s a consummate teammate,” says head coach Ben Macauley.
“He’s what’s great about junior football. He wasn’t caught up in just using it as a stepping stone. He fully enjoyed being a great, tough, hard-working football player and he was the life of the locker room.”
As a fullback and a member of the Sun for three seasons, Russell amassed 15 touchdowns, seven of which came in his first season.
In 2016 Russell became a role model for some of the younger players, something he enjoyed. “I think I’ll miss seeing all the guys every day the most, they become your family when you’re away from home, and it was always nice walking in the locker room to hang with the boys. I’ll also miss game days at the Apple Bowl, there’s no better place to play and we have the best fans in the league.”
“The biggest highlight of this past year was being a senior. I feel like since I’ve been through the process a few times, I got the chance to take it all in, the last bus rides, ferry rides, last practices, games, you learn to take a minute and smell the flowers.”
When he reflects on his Sun career, one memory stands above the rest, “the highlight of my junior career was playing for the national championship in 2015, what an experience... and the free caribou after games, I don't think beer has ever tasted so good.”
Now that his junior football career is finished, what does Russell take with him, “the most important thing I learned being a member of the Sun is to work hard, be a good person, and respect is earned. Your last name is on the back of your jersey, wear it with pride. It’s these things that the organization preached time and time again.”
As he steps away from the football field as a player, Russell has his eyes to the skis, hoping one day to get his pilot’s license. That said, don’t be surprised to see him back on the sidelines sooner than later but this time as a coach.
Fullback Kasey Russell of the Okanagan Sun joins the Class of 2016.