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Linebackers Week - Day 3

02/24/2021, 6:45am PST
By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)

Most assisted tackles in a CJFL career

The CJFL Linebackers Week rolls on.

Team work in the sport of football in imperative and this is especially important on the defensive side of the ball.  When an offensive player has the ball each and every defensive player converges on his location wanting to make a tackle.

On defence, players are credited for not only a solo tackle, but they are rewarded as well when they assist on a stop.   Linebackers are one of the positions on the defensive side that are generally credited for the most assisted tackles over the course of a game or a season.  Coaches in particular love seeing this stat as it showcases a player’s “no quit” attitude and just because he’s not the first player there, doesn’t mean he gave up on the play.

Linebackers have an advantage to see a play develop in front of them before attacking the ball.   It may only be a split second, but that’s all a linebacker needs to determine where the ball carrier is going to be and how they will help on a tackle.

Taking a look at the top 5 all-time career leaders in assisted tackles among linebackers shows a wide range of eras represented.  The incredible tally of 193 by Garry Handley of the Okanagan Sun/Richmond Raiders may never be touched.  

1 – Garry Handley – 193 for the Okanagan Sun and Richmond Raiders (BCFC) from 1982-1986

2 – Jon Klyne – 135 for the Abbotsford Airforce (BCFC) from 2002-2005

3 – Jean Maurice – 134 for the Sherbrooke Blitz (QMJFL) from 1986-1989

4 – Scott Gilbert – 121 for the Vancouver Island Sharks and Vancouver Trojans (BCFC) from 1997-2001

5 – Lucas Desmet (pictured) – 92 for the Vancouver Island Raiders (BCFC) from 2005-2007 & 2009

Each day this week a new category will be highlighted for linebackers week.

Linebackers Week - Day 2

02/23/2021, 2:45pm PST
By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)

Most solo tackles in a CJFL single season

The CJFL Linebackers Week continues.

The word “tackle” is a verb meant to grab or to handle.    In the 14th century the word had come to be used for the equipment used for fishing, referring to the rod and reel.

In football the word tackle is to physically interfere with the forward progress of a player in possession of the ball.   Basically stop him from gaining yards.  A linebacker’s main role on the football field is to stop whoever has the ball and tackle them, whether it’s the quarterback, running back or receiver.

There are several methods of tackling, but none are actually “required” to bring a ball carrier down.  For example a linebacker does not need to wrap their arms around the ball carrier before bringing him down to the ground.  A linebacker often uses brute force with the help of a running start to simply knock the ball carrier down.  As long as the ball carrier is brought down within the legal rules of the sport, then it’s considered a good tackle.

Throughout the course of CJFL history there have been some outstanding players to patrol the linebacker position making tackle after tackle.  In 1983 Rod Arquette had a season still unimaginable making an incredible 91 solo tackles in just one season for the London Beefeaters.  His record has stood for 36 seasons and will most likely stand the test of time. The closest a player has got recently was in 2006 when Ryan King of the Edmonton Wildcats and Scott Magee (pictured) of the Regina Thunder each recorded 66 tackles, which is still 25 tackles short of the pace set by Arquette.    

The top 5 all-time leading linebacker solo tacklers in a single season are:

1 – Rod Arquette – 91 for the London Beefeaters (OFC) in 1983

2 – Jeff Stanford – 82 for the Renfrew Trojans (BCFC) in 1984

3 – Scott Magee – 66 for the Regina Thunder (PFC) in 2006

4 – Ryan King – 66 for the Edmonton Wildcats (PFC) in 2006

5 – Larry Wruck – 66 for the Saskatoon Hilltops (PFC) in 1982

Each day a new category will be highlighted during Linebackers Week in the CJFL

Linebackers Week - Day 1

02/22/2021, 5:15pm PST
By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)

Most solo tackles in a CJFL career

Photo - Tyler Going of the Okanagan Sun was an All-Canadian linebacker in 2019

The CJFL kicks-off Linebackers Week, a look back at the statistical leaders throughout time in the Canadian Junior Football League.

Arguably the linebacker is often regarded as the most important position on the defensive side of the ball.  They are versatile players usually providing hard hits on running plays or are an additional layer of pass defence when required.   Linebackers are required to use their judgment on every snap to determine their role during a particular play.  They are expected to move proficiently from sideline to sideline as well as keep containment beyond the tackle-box on run plays.

A linebacker is also asked to provide extra pressure on the quarterback during a blitz.   They have to be careful not to get burned on an offensive play, but at the same time get into the backfield as quickly as possible.

This position has perhaps the most nicknames associated with it as well.  Depending on where the linebacker is positioned on the field they could be called the Mike, Mack, Will, Sam, Buck or Rebel.

Linebackers are usually credited for the most tackles in a game or over the course of a season.  Because of their position they are responsible for numerous areas on the field and to the make a tackle once in those areas.

The CJFL has seen many incredible linebackers throughout history.  The top 5 tackle leaders over the course of a career are:

1 – Garry Handley – 180 with the Okanagan Sun and Richmond Raiders (BCFC) from 1982-1986

2 – Jean Maurice – 178 with the Sherbrooke Blitz (QMJFL) from 1986-1989

3 – Mike Letendre – 175 with the Okanagan Sun (BCFC) from 1994-1998

4 – Gord Langfield – 169 with the Abbotsford Airforce (BCFC) from 1987-1990

5 – Jeff Alamolhoda – 169 with the Vancouver Trojans and Tri-City Bulldogs (BCFC) from 1999-2002

There will be a new category each day during linebackers week.