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:
Photo courtesy of Greystoke Photography
After developing as a player and person in the CJFL, the 2016 Outstanding Offensive Player of the Year Jamel Lyles is making the jump to the next level.
As a member of the Westshore Rebels last season Lyles broke Andrew Harris’ single season rushing record in the BC Conference with 1,604 yards. He also finished the season with 17 touchdowns, 15 of which were on the ground, third most all-time in BC Conference history. Lyles was outstanding returning kicks and catching passes out of the backfield, collecting 2,370 all-purpose yards in Rebels red.
His 1,604 rushing yards is fourth most in CJFL history.
He’s relentless ground attack helped the Rebels to their first Canadian Bowl appearance in 13 years. He tallied 141 yards in the championship game on 16 carries.
Scouts from a number of different teams and schools kept their eye on his progress all season. With many options in front of him, Lyles has decided to return to the University of Manitoba for the 2017 Canada West season. Bisons’ head coach Brian Dobie said, “Jamel has proven to be one of the most productive and dynamic football players in the nation. In 2015, he was conference (Canada West) rookie of the year and an integral part of the Bison offence. In 2016, Jamel had an incredible and dominating season in the BC Conference, breaking Andrew Harris' single season rushing record. We are very much looking forward to Jamel returning to Manitoba and becoming a significant contributor to our offence."
The Rebels meanwhile will open the new CJFL season at the end of July. The complete CJFL schedule will be released this month.
The CJFL lost a legend on Thursday with the passing of Gordon Currie.
His name has been attached to the “CJFL Coach of the Year” award for good reason.
From 1965 to 1976, Currie coached the Regina Rams football club of the Prairie Football Conference. He led the Rams to eight Manitoba-Saskatchewan Junior League championships, seven Western Canada Junior championships and six national junior titles. Then in 1975, he was named Canadian Amateur Coach of the Year.
His CJFL accomplishments are incredible to say the least. He coached 12 seasons, won 76 games, had seven first place finishes, nine Conference championships and six junior titles.
When comparing Currie’s numbers to some of the other CJFL greats, he is right in the thick of the discussion for best ever junior coach. His 76 wins are sixth all-time, his nine Conference championships are second all-time and his six junior titles are third all-time.
Following his coaching career he went back to teaching and later served as a high school principal, before entering the political scene in Saskatchewan.
He was named to the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 1978, to the Order of Canada in 1979 and to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2005. In 1977, he established the Gordon Currie Foundation which awards the Gordon Currie Youth Development Fund.
The CJFL sends its condolences to his family, friends and football colleagues who knew him best. He will be missed.