For some Tuesday June 1st is the biggest day of their young lives, as the CJFL presents its National Signing Day.
The day is earmarked every year on June 1st, the day in which players can finally sign with a CJFL club. When a player signs he is essentially signing for his entire junior football career as the player then becomes the property of that team.
So many considerations are made before signing with a CJFL club; location, team support, roster depth, coaching staff, scholarship program, etc all weighs in on a player’s decision.
National Signing Day is not only exciting for the players, but the coaches as well. Their ideas, hopes and hard work will finally come to fruition as they start to fill their roster spots.
Following National Signing Day coaches can continue to recruit and sign a player immediately if he’s a good fit for their team. That said the bulk of the players ready to play in the CJFL will sign on June 1st.
Once players sign on the dotted line, coaches can begin developing their schemes and systems around their potential starters. They can also begin preparing for their Main Camp along with Week 1 of the regular season, still to be determined as restrictions from COVID-19 are ongoing.
All three Conferences and 18 CJFL teams will participate on June 1st, signing players to their 2021 roster including the newest franchise, the Quinte Skyhawks.
Fans can keep up to date with CJFL National Signing Day on social media with #CJFLSigningDay as teams will be posting once a player signs.
A total of 11 CJFL players were invited to participate in the CFL’s virtual Combine this year with results due last weekend. Players were responsible to test themselves and submit their videos to the CFL for verification. Of those 11 players, eight fully completed the Combine events, while one could not participate due to an injury.
These results will help CFL scouts determine which players are a good fit for their respective teams. These 11 players are all hoping to hear their name called during the CFL Draft on May 4th.
No doubt this has been a very challenging year for all aspects of football and completing the Combine events was no different. That said, here are the impressive results:
|NAME||BENCH||40 YARD DASH||BROAD||3-CONE||SHUTTLE|
|Carter Comeau (Sun)||32||5.63||8' (UNV)||8.10||4.96|
|Nick Cross (Sun)||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP|
|Luther Hakunavanhu (Wildcats)||7||4.63||10'2 1/8"||7.23||4.4|
|Keagan Hughes (Sun) <pictured>||11||5.10||9'4 3/8"||6.93||6.93|
|Isaiah Joseph (Hurricanes)||11||4.93||8'10 7/8"||N/A||4.50|
|Robbie Lowes (Thunder/Rebels)||20||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP|
|Mojtaba Mehry (Fratmen)||18||5.90||7'11 1/4"||8.36||5.01|
|Hayden Nellis (Sun/Rifles)||21||5.33||9'1" (UNV)||7.56||4.56|
|Michael Ritchott (Raiders/Rifles)||14||4.73||9'3 1/8"||7.06||4.06|
|Lliam Wishart (Sun)||5||5.00||9'6 1/8"||7.33||4.26|
|Shaiheem Charles-Brown (Rams)||16||INJ||INJ||INJ||INJ|
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.