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Member Monday: Westshore Rebels

02/08/2021, 8:00am PST
By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)

A proud member of the CJFL since 1985

The Westshore Rebels became a member of the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) in the BC Conference in 1985 following three consecutive Tier II championships from 1982-1984 as the Victoria Hornets.

The Rebels in the past 35 seasons have gone through a couple of different identities in their franchise history.  Once becoming a full member of the CJFL the Hornets became the Victoria Payless from 1985-1993 after being sponsored by Payless Gas Company.    In their nine seasons as Payless, they would finish with an overall record of 30-45-1 qualifying for the post season six times but didn’t win a game.

In 1994, the new season came with a new name.  The sponsorship of Payless was not renewed so the club changed their name to the Vancouver Island Sharks.  In their four seasons the club finished with a dismal 6-34 record and 0-2 in the playoffs.

The ’98 season brought on another new name change as the Victoria Rebels were born.   Playing out of Royal Athletic Park the new Rebels brand immediately brought on a winning season.  They finished 6-4 but lost in the BC semi-final.  Overall they would play 13 seasons in Victoria compiling a 74-52-4 regular season record, making the playoffs 10 times.  Unfortunately for the Rebels they were 6-11 in the playoffs and 1-4 in the BC Cullen Cup final.  That one BC title however propelled them to their first Canadian Bowl appearance in 2003.   They ran into an undefeated Saskatoon Hilltop juggernaut that averaged over 39 points a game and a defence that allowed just 11 points.   The CJFL title game was played on a neutral field in Chilliwack and the Hilltops shutout the Rebels 59-0.

Following the 2010 season the Rebels once again packed up and moved.  This time they made their new home in Langford, a suburb of Victoria and became known as the Westshore Rebels.     They were fortunate to move into the new Westhills Stadium which welcomed them with open arms.

Since this most recent move the Rebels have played nine seasons in Langford combining for a 46-43-2 regular season record.   They also hosted their first Canadian Bowl in 2016 after a first place finish.  They again faced the Hilltops and though it was a better game, the Hilltops still got the best of the Rebels with a 37-25 win.

Throughout the team’s history they have finished in first place in the BC Conference twice; in 2016 and 2017 and have appeared in two Canadian Bowls.  In their 35 year history they have won two Cullen Cup titles and have a 155-173-7 overall record.   Three players have been named the CJFL Outstanding Offensive Player of the Year; Simon Beckow (WR/R) in 1992, Nate Cote (QB) in 2007 and Jamal Lyles (RB) in 2016.  On the other side of the ball four players have been named the League’s Top Defender; Ian Gordon (DE) in 1987, Troy Francis (DB) in 1990, Scott Gilbert (LB) in 1999 and Mike Kissinger (LB) in 2000.

Alums who have played in the CFL

BC Lions
Bill Chamberlain (also Calgary)
Moe Elewonibi (also Winnipeg, Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Football Club)
Jordan Matechuk
Jesse Newman
Lorne Plante
Tim O'Neil

Calgary Stampeders
John Bender
Robin Cote
Tim O’Neill
Jesse Newman
Blaine Kruger

Montreal Alouettes
Scott Mennie (also Winnipeg)
Andrew Woodruff

Winnipeg Bluebombers
Jordan Matechuk

Quick Rebels Facts:
Conference – BC Conference
Location – 1089 Langford Pkwy, Victoria
President – Rob Lervold
Head Coach – Shane Beatty
Stadium – Westhills Stadium
Social Handle - @westshorerebels
Motto –Westshore Boomin’
Primary Colours – Red and White

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