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Life Member Brian Small

04/06/2021, 8:45am PDT
By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)

He becomes the first official to be honoured

One could argue that the most important position on the football field is that of an official.  Without referees, umpires, line judges, field judges and others, games simply could not be played in the CJFL.  However for their extreme importance, officials are often yelled at and verbally abused by coaches, players and fans alike, yet they continue to do an excellent job on the field.

The CJFL is proud to announce the first ever official to be given the honour of a CJFL Life Member Award.

Brian Small contributed a great deal to the CJFL on and off the field as a referee from 1983-2002.  He was named the first ever Prairie Conference Referee-in-Chief and held that position for 19 years, stepping down just this past fall.  He not only officiated games on the field during his career, but was also responsible for scheduling officials to be at all the other Conference games each week.   Brian is a huge advocate for the sport of football and specifically officials.

He has had a distinguished career that has spanned more than 25 years and has officiated all levels of football including the CJFL and a stint in the CFL from 1993-1997 during the expansion to the United States.  His resume is impressive officiating a Canadian Bowl, an Atlantic Bowl, a Hardy Cup and his final game, the 2002 Vanier Cup.  Brian also served as the Referee-in-Chief for Canada West of USports creating training programs that both leagues continue to use.

Just prior to the 2011 Vanier Cup Brian was honoured with the Sydney Halter Award for his “Outstanding Contributions to Football Officiating” which included his extensive training program for the development of better officials.  This award is not given out each year.

“Officials are always the unsung heroes of the CJFL,” says Commissioner Jim Pankovich.   “I’ve known Brian for several years and his long-term commitment in developing new officials in Western Canada through various training programs has been outstanding.  Brian helped create officiating standards in the CJFL when it comes to selecting which referees officiate our Canadian Bowl each season.   We owe a great deal of debt to all of our officials each and every year as they not only make our game safer but they actually make it possible. Without our dedicated officials across the CJFL we wouldn’t be able to play.  On behalf of the CJFL, I would like to congratulate and thank Brian for everything he has done for our game, this is well deserved.”

The CJFL Life Member Award is saved for an individual that has contributed a great deal to the CJFL and Brian Small certainly has done that.  Officials today in Western Canada are much better trained and equipped thanks to his programs and love for Canadian amateur football.

Congratulations Brian Small.

Defensive Lineman Week - Day 3

04/03/2021, 10:30am PDT
By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)

Most sacks in a CJFL single regular season game

During a game, getting to the quarterback for a sack can be difficult.  The offensive linemen are just the first wave a defensive player needs to bust through.   Then of course a running back can offer a second wave, and then the quarterback’s internal clock of getting rid of the ball before a sack can be recorded.

Due to these factors when a sack is recorded, the defence celebrates.   However, when one player compiles more than one sack in a game it can be record setting.

Throughout CJFL history there have been several players that have recorded more than one sack in a single game, but there is a plateau in which only six players have reached.  Collecting five sacks in a game is an incredible feat and hasn’t been done since 2012.  The first player to reach this milestone was Ron Zammit of the Hamilton Hurricanes in 1982, 39 years ago.

The top 5 all-time defensive lineman leaders for sacks in a single regular season game are:

1 – Steven Doege – 5 for the Okanagan Sun (BCFC) in 2012

2 – Evan Foster (pictured) – 5 for the Langley Rams (BCFC) in 2009

3 – Jim LaPointe – 5 for the Okanagan Sun (BCFC) in 2001

4 – Adrian MacKenzie – 5 for the Richmond Raiders (BCFC) in 1990

5 – Ron Zammit – 5 for the Hamilton Hurricanes (OFC) in 1982

Honourable mention:

6 – Dave Gebert – 5 for Regina Rams (PFC) in 1985

Defensive Lineman Week - Day 2

04/02/2021, 9:45am PDT
By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)

Most sacks in a CJFL single season

When looking at a defensive lineman’s statistics from season to season it can be interesting how one campaign can be so dominating, while others are not as strong.

One such statistic is quarterback sacks.  Several defensive lineman show consistent numbers, while others have one or two incredible years, but also have a season which they don’t produce much.  Last time we highlighted career sacks leaders and Steven Doege of the Okanagan Sun was head and shoulders above everyone else, however during a single season he is not in the top five all-time leaders.  He is a classic example of a consistently good player but didn’t have that one mind-blowing year.

On the flip side the top five all-time single season sacks leaders did.   This doesn’t mean these players were only good for one year, but instead had a season in which everything just clicked.   As the old saying goes “When you’re on, you’re on.”  

When looking at this list, three of the five top leaders played in the BC Conference including a pair of former Langley Rams.  

The top 5 all-time single season defensive lineman leaders in sacks are:

1 – Evan Foster – 16 for the Langley Rams (BCFC) in 2013

2 – Wilguens Deriveaux – 15 for the St. Leonard Cougars (OFC) in 2012

3 – Brock Gowanlock (pictured) – 14.5 for the Langley Rams (BCFC) in 2015

4 – Jonas Gering – 13 for the Okanagan Sun (BCFC) in 2015

5 – Frank Suchodolski – 12.5 for the North Shore Broncos (QMJFL) in 1986