Photo courtesy of Crazy Bees Photography
One of the best CJFL stories of last season was the resurgence of the Valley Huskers. They clinched a playoff berth with a 6-4 record and defeated the VI Raiders and Okanagan Sun for the first time in their franchise history. This season they will be looking for more.
The Huskers again will have a new look without outstanding quarterback Julian Wytinck who has graduated from the CJFL. He leaves behind some big shoes to fill for the reigning CJFL Coach of the Year Bob Reist who believes they have the right formula for others to step up and succeed.
The biggest change for the Huskers this season is on the coaching staff. Reist returns but has surrounded himself with a multitude of talented men with excellent football knowledge. Blair Atkinson from the University of Manitoba is the new offensive coordinator; former Langley Rams head coach Jeff Alamolhoda will coach the linebackers and the front. Also from the University of Manitoba Will Sheils has come on board to coach the receivers.
One other change will be seen on the road when the Huskers wear new road jerseys to match their home uniforms from last season.
QB Julian Wytinck completed 54% of his passes last year with 17 touchdowns on 189 completions and tallied 2,745 yards. He was named the BC Conference Offensive Player of the Year.
WR Anthony Dyck was a lethal weapon for Wytinck and the Huskers offence last year. He was named BC Conference most Outstanding Receiver with 46 receptions, 830 yards with a Conference high 11 touchdowns and averaged 18 yards a catch.
DB Daniel Mills was a force on the defensive side with 15 solo tackles, 3.5 sacks, recovered a fumble and picked off a pass.
What They Need:
The Huskers felt like their defensive line needed some work this offseason. They recruited heavily for that position and feel like they have added some good pieces into the mix and are looking forward to see who steps up in main camp to win a starting spot.
DB/RET/RB Marcel Arruda-Welch: He comes to the Huskers following a season at the University Manitoba. The Winnipeg native had 26 tackles last season as a defensive back. He combined for 39 kick returns for 678 yards.
LB David Steeves: After spending the last four seasons at Trinity Bible College in North Dakota the Winnipeg native comes to the Huskers. He was three-time National Christian College All-American amassing 242 tackles, 13 sacks and set a school record for most forced fumbles in a career. He also took part in the CFL’s Regional Combine in Montreal this past spring.
WR/RET Brandon Poulin: He was a two-time CJFL All-Canadian last season. He made a CJFL high 63 receptions for 878 yards and scored five majors. He averaged 13.9 yards a catch. He was also dangerous on special teams returning kicks with 56 returns for 846 yards and had a 93 yard return for a touchdown.