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.
Now that the calendar has turned to February, current and former CJFL players have their eyes set on next month and a pair of CFL Regional Combines taking place in Regina and Toronto.
A total of 13 players with CJFL experience have been invited to these camps, all hoping to follow in the footsteps of recent CFL draft picks Dexter Janke (Calgary Stampeders) and Brennan Van Nistelrooy (BC Lions). Both these players were members of the Okanagan Sun.
Four CJFL players will be in Toronto on Friday March 17th showing off their skills for each CFL team and a handful of CIS schools in attendance. The invites are:
RB Shaquille Foster (GTA Grizzlies, pictured) – in 2015 he averaged 6.3 yards a carry on 38 attempts. He rushed 238 yards and scored a touchdown.
LB Farouk Musa (Hamilton Hurricanes) – this past season he helped the Hurricanes to an OFC title with 30 tackles, 10 assists, two sacks, had a knockdown and a fumble recovery
DB Mike Brown (Hamilton Hurricanes) – in 2016 he led the OFC with five interceptions, two of which were returned for a touchdown. He also compiled 10 tackles, three assists, had a knockdown and a block
R Joe Ellenberger (Windsor AKO Fratman) – he made nine receptions for 83 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns
The following week on Thursday March 23, nine players will attend the Regina Regional Combine with the same scouts and schools as in Toronto. The invites are:
LB Layne Hull (Okanagan Sun) - he was the BC Conference Defensive Player of the Year compiling 30 tackles, 10 assisted tackles, three sacks, three knockdowns, had a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and and an interception
DL Kent Hicks (Westshore Rebels) – he was the emotional leader for the BC Conference champs and collected 12 tackles, three assists, 5.5 sacks, had a knockdown, forced a pair of fumbles and recovered two fumbles
DL Jeremie Drouin (Westshore Rebels) – he helped the Rebels to a BC Conference title with nine tackles, five assists, two sacks, had a block and knocked down a pass
R Derek Yachison (Kamloops Broncos, pictured) – he finished his CJFL career following the 2015 season collecting 1026 yards on 73 receptions and 14 touchdowns.
DB Luc Catellier (Calgary Colts) – named an All-Canadian this past season with 17 tackles, five assists, one knockdown, forced a fumble, one fumble recovery and three interceptions
OL Theren Churchill (Edmonton Huskies)
DL Ryan Warner (Regina Thunder) was a rock for the Thunder D-Line collecting 15 tackles, 11 assists, had two sacks and forced a fumble
DB Adam Laurensse (VI Raiders) was outstanding for the Raiders in the 2011 season before moving on from the CJFL
WR Whitman Tomusiak (VI Raiders) was a main reason the Raiders reached the 2013 Canadian Bowl oddly enough in Regina, the site of this CFL Combine
The CJFL wishes all these players good luck as they try and win an invitation to the Main Combine March 25-26 in Regina as the CFL caps of the inaugural CFL Week. The CFL Draft is scheduled for May 2017.
After the Westshore Rebels Head Coach, J.C. Boice unexpectedly stepped down, General Manager & VP of Operations Jonathan Poppitt has been on the search to find an experienced coach to fill his shoes.
“We had a couple of great candidates which made our decision a difficult one, says Poppitt. We wanted to make sure that the new Head Coach would have a good rapport with players and could continue the success that J.C. helped create over the past two years.”
Westshore Rebels are happy to announce Charly Cardilicchia will be the new Head Coach.
Coach Cardilicchia’s love for football started as a young boy playing minor football in Victoria. He joined the Rebels team for their first season as the Rebels and scored the first touchdown. After four seasons he moved on to play for the University of Manitoba for three years. His achievements include BCFC all-star, 3-time Cullen Cup finalist, and Rebels Team MVP.
Player turned coach, Cardilicchia brings over 19 years of coaching experience to the team. During his time as coach for the Saanich Wolverines Junior Bantam team they secured 12 championships, earning him the life-time achievement award from the Greater Victoria Minor Football Association. He was also the Head Coach of the Junior Bantam Renegades who won the 2016 Provincial Championship. Coach Cardilicchia has volunteered much of his time to football in Victoria over the years and also has 5-years’ experience as the Rebels Offensive Coach so he knows what it takes to win.
“One thing I do know is that great Coaching starts with surrounding yourself around a team of specialists who have extensive experience in their respective areas. My job is to bring the right people together to ensure the team gets the support and coaching needed to bring the best out in each player,” says Cardilicchia.
Shane Beatty, a strong candidate for Head Coach, has decided to take some time to decide if he wants to continue as Assistant Head Coach and Director of Player Development, as he continues to focus on the development of the Westshore Training Academy.
Coach Cardilichhia is hoping to continue to work with Shane Beatty as he brings extensive coaching experience to the team and has made an impact on player development. He is also excited to be working with many new and returning Assistant Coaches that will round off their highly experienced coaching staff.
New Assistant Coaches:
• Tim O’Neil, Offensive Line Coach (part-time) recently retired from the BCLions and played for the University of Calgary
• Rob Smith, Offensive Line Coach formerly played for the Manitoba Bisons 2013-2014
• Andy Garmin, Defensive Line Coach former Rebels Coach 2005-2007 & 2010-2011
• Randeep Desi, Defensive Assistant played for the Manitoba Bisons 2008-2009
• Tyler Woods, Defensive Assistant played for the Rebels 2007-2008
• John Cardilicchia, Special Teams Coordinator and Defensive Assistant, former Rebels Coach 1998-2002, 2010-2012, and Defensive Coach University of BC 2014-2015
• Terry Houngbo, Running Back Coach played for the Rebels 2013
Returning Assistant Coaches:
• Luke Michaud, Offensive Assistant
• Mike Williams, Assistant Offensive Line Coach
• Phil Slater, Defensive Assistant
• Rudy Fjeldstad, Defensive Assistant
• Trevor Slater, Offensive Assistant
• Tyler Nickel, QB/Offensive Assistant
“Our coaching staff is going to continue to be strong this season and we look forward to building a winning team that will take us once again to the Cullen Cup and the Canadian Bowl”, says Doug Kobayashi, President of Westshore Rebels.