Football Canada is proud to welcome the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) as an Associate Member.
The approval of the CJFL marks the fourth Associate Member to join Football Canada in the last year, joining the Canadian Football League, U SPORTS and the Canadian Football Officials Association.
“Football Canada is now the hub of communications for our national contact football organizations to connect, collaborate and partner with grassroots football across the country,” Football Canada President Jim Mullin said.
“Coming out of this pandemic, it is critical that all football organizations within Canada work together as one instead of against each other to get all of our teams and players back on the field safely,” added CJFL Commissioner Jim Pankovich. “I’m excited to be able to share best practices and ideas across the country to not only build our CJFL game, but football as a whole. This partnership with the other organizations will give more opportunities for young men and women to play this game.”
The alliance creates pathways for expanded work on CJFL teams to participate in developing the game at the community level with Football Canada programming like First Down and CFL Futures focused on participation for youth under-12. It is also a catalyst for discussion with the CFL and U SPORTS to align areas of operations and events.
“We have already started a dialogue between the partners about how we can work together as a football community to maximize our high-performance events and contribute to minor football, and the CJFL is at the centre of that discussion,” continued Mullin.
The CJFL’s membership in Football Canada was facilitated by the recent ratification of Ontario Football Conference (OFC) Juniors return to the Ontario Football Alliance (OFA), the responsible body for football’s governance in Ontario. The OFC is set to host the CJFL championship Canadian Bowl this November, showcasing the talent and level of enthusiasm for junior football in the province and across the country.
ABOUT FOOTBALL CANADA: Established in 1880 and reconstituted in 1884, Football Canada is the national governing body of amateur football in Canada and a proud member of the International Federation of American Football (IFAF). Working closely with the provincial football associations, we develop programs and resources for players, coaches, officials in the three disciplines of Tackle, Flag and Touch Football. Football Canada’s vision statement is “from playground to stadium” where players can participate in the game of football throughout a lifetime recreationally, competitively and internationally.
Linebackers Week in the CJFL wraps up.
Arguably the most exciting play on the defensive side of the ball is a quarterback sack. Knocking the pivot down behind the line a scrimmage for a big loss will fire up the rest of the team and the crowd just as a touchdown does on the offensive side.
More often than not defensive linemen are the ones recording a sack; however linebackers get their dues as well. A linebacker can read the play, see a gap then use their pure athleticism to pass rush into the backfield to bring down the quarterback.
The history of the term “sack” has an interesting path. It first became popular by Hall of Famer Deacon Jones in the 1960s who felt that a sack devastated the offence in the same way that a city was devastated when it was sacked. However according to former NFL head coach Marv Levy it was Hall of Fame head coach George Allen in the early 1970s who coined the term saying “Before we play those Dallas Cowboys, we’re going to take Craig Morton (Cowboys quarterback) salt and pour him into a sack.”
Prior to the term sack, it was called “dumping the passer.” A player didn’t get credit for tackling the quarterback behind the line of scrimmage until 1982. A researcher of the Pro Football Researches Association estimates that if sacks were credited in the 1960s, Deacon would have recorded 173.5 sacks in this amazing career.
Throughout CJFL history there have been some linebackers with outstanding career sack numbers and perhaps no one did it better than Dale Solie of the Saskatoon Hilltops. From 1985-1989 Solie was a beast, hitting gaps and using his speed to hurry the quarterback. He still holds the CJFL career record for most sacks by a linebacker in CJFL history with 36.5. As a matter of fact there is only one player in CJFL history will more sacks and he’s a defensive lineman. Steven Doege of the Okanagan Sun collected 43.5 from 2009-2012. The gap between Solie and the second linebacker on the list is eye-opening.
The top 5 all-time CJFL career leaders in sacks from the LINEBACKER position are:
1 – Dale Solie – 36.5 for the Saskatoon Hilltops (PFC) from 1985-1989
2 – Randy Duech – 18.5 for the Abbotsford Airforce (BCFC) from 1988-1991
3 – Jermaine Haley – 17 for the Okanagan Sun and Surrey Rams (BCFC) from 1992-1995
4 – Adam Merino – 17 for Victoria Payless and Vancouver Island Sharks (BCFC) from 1993-1996
5 – Mason Beekhuis (pictured) – 14.5 for the Windsor AKO Fratmen (OFC) from 2010-2013
Photo - Jadyn Pingue was a CJFL All-Canadian linebacker for the Saskatoon Hilltops in 2019. Credit: Louis Christ Photography
Linebackers Week in the CJFL continues.
The buddy system is defined as a cooperative arrangement whereby individuals are paired or teamed up and assume responsibility for one another’s instruction, productivity, welfare or safety.
The defence on the football field is very similar especially when it comes to tackling, sure it’s good to do it on your own, but it’s more team bonding when you can tackle with a buddy. It’s also more reliable and next to impossible for a ball carrier to slide out of a pair of tacklers.
Assisted tackling is a huge part of the game and the defensive system. Players are taught to swarm to the ball and in some cases, just hang onto the offensive player and wait for help.
When looking at the top 5 all-time leaders in assisted tackles in a single season it’s interesting to note that four of the five totals on leader board are either from the 1982 or 1983 season.
1 – Garry Handley – 65 for the Okanagan Sun (BCFC) in 1982
2 – Dave Nagy – 62 for the Okanagan Sun (BCFC) in 1982
3 – Chad Dreidger – 62 for the Abbotsford Airforce (BCFC) in 1993
4 – Garry Handley – 61 for the Okanagan Sun (BCFC) in 1983
5 – Rod Arquette – 61 for the London Beefeaters (OFC) in 1983
Each day this week a new category will featured for Linebackers Week.