Photo courtesy of Jim Motokado
When the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) expanded to Kamloops in 2001 the franchise was known as the Cowboys playing in the BC Conference.
The Cowboys struggled in their first three seasons posting a record of 5-25 and missed the post season each year.
Prior to the 2004 season the franchise applied for a non-playing status citing several reasons. The CJFL granted the application and continued to work with the ownership group in hopes of them returning to the league in the near future.
Finally in 2007 the Kamloops franchise returned to the CJFL , but this time under the name Broncos. They didn’t make as big of a splash in that first season back as the team had hoped finishing 1-9. Despite the challenging record the Broncos were fortunate to immediately play at one of the nicest venues across the League in Hillside Stadium on the campus of Thompson Rivers University. The Stadium has a field turf surface and has locker rooms for both teams. It has also been used by the BC Lions during training camps in previous years.
Over the course of their 13 CJFL seasons, the Broncos have an overall record of 29-99-1 with their best finish in the 2014 season. That year they compiled a 6-4 record, finishing third in the Conference sending them to their second straight post season berth. In all, the Broncos have seen the playoffs three times; 2013, 2014 and 2015 but are still looking for their first post season win.
The Broncos have developed some incredible talent throughout their CJFL membership including receiver Derek Yachison. The Winnipeg native had 194 receptions from 2011-2015, second most in CJFL history with 2,763 yards. He hauled in 73 receptions in a single season in 2015 and was named the CJFL Peter Dalla Riva Outstanding Offensive Player of the Year.
Quarterback Colby Henkel was named the CJFL Rookie of the Year in 2016 completing 171 passes for 2,186 yards and 17 touchdowns.
The Broncos have stumbled in the last couple of years but have high hopes this season with a new, energetic head coach in Braden Vankoughnett. The franchise believes this new energy to the team is just what they need to get back to the CJFL post season.
Quick Broncos Facts:
Conference – BC Conference
Location – 944 Dalhousie Dr. Kamloops
Victoria President – Darren Watt
Head Coach – Braden Vankoughnett
Stadium – Hillside Stadium
Social Handle - @KamloopsBroncos / @KamBroncos
Motto – #RunWithUs
Primary Colours – Blue / Orange / White
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.
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
6 – Dave Gebert – 5 for Regina Rams (PFC) in 1985