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Playoffs 2015

Recent Okanagan Sun News

Football Canada approves the CJFL

03/03/2021, 2:15pm PST
By Supplied

Football Canada is proud to welcome the CJFL as an Associate Member.

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.

Member Monday: Okanagan Sun

03/01/2021, 10:30am PST
By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)

A proud member of the CJFL since 1981

The Okanagan Sun became a member of the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) in the BC Conference for the first time in 1981. In their 39 years of play, they have been the most consistent dominate team in British Columbia.

The Sun have recorded the most wins all-time and have a record of 297-66-9 for a winning percentage of 818%.
They have played out of the Apple Bowl since their inception and have created a home field that is difficult for visiting teams to win in. Since 1984, they have a home record of 143-24-4.  The natural grass surface at the Apple Bowl is the last of its kind in the CJFL as all over 17 teams now play on turf.

Over the years the Sun have finished in first place in the BC Conference a total of 20 times. They also have 11 consecutive first places finishes from 1995-2005. They have made the BC Conference playoffs a record 38 consecutive years and have an overall playoff record of 45-24. They have won 15 Cullen Cup championships with their first coming in 1983. Between 1995 and 2002, they won eight consecutive BC titles.

The Sun have played in eight Canadian Bowls, winning two (1988 & 2000). They defeated the Burlington Jr Tiger Cats for their first and the Saskatoon Hilltops twelve years later for their second. They were the first team in CJFL history to play in five consecutive Canadian Bowl championships from 1997-2001.

Five players and two coaches have been honoured at the national level. Running back Ron Arnold was named the CJFL Outstanding Offensive Player of the Year in 1997, running back Terrance Huston in 1998 and quarterback Zack Silverman in 2000.

On the other side of the ball defensive lineman Steven Doege was named the CJFL’s Top Defender in 2011.
In 2004 Duncan Acres was honoured as the CJFL Past Commissioner Community Service Award winner.

A pair of Sun coaches have won the CJFL Gordon Currie Coach of the Year Award; Pete McCall in 2010 and Shane Beatty was twice honoured in 2014 and 2015.

Several former Sun players have moved onto the CFL ranks over the years:

Saleem Borhot – Edmonton Eskimos
Jay Christensen – BC Lions / Calgary Stampeders / Edmonton Eskimos / Ottawa Red Blacks
Nate Coehoorn – Edmonton Eskimos
Mike Crumb – BC Lions / Toronto Argonauts
Adam Eckert– Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Moe Elewonibi – BC Lions / Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Chad Folk – Toronto Argonauts
Ryan Folk – Montreal Alouettes
James Green – Toronto Argonauts
Dexter Janke – Calgary Stampeders / Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Mike Marasco – BC Lions
Spencer McLennan – BC Lions / Montreal Alouettes / Winnipeg Blue Bombers
David Pitcher – Saskatchewan Roughriders
Stefen Reid – Montreal Alouettes
Dounia Whitehouse – Edmonton Eskimos
Spencer Wilson – Calgary Stampeders

Quick Sun Facts:
Conference – BC Conference
Location – 1555 Burtch Rd. Kelowna
Sun President – Parker Evans
Head Coach – Jamie Boreham
Stadium – Apple Bowl
Social Handle - @okanagansun / @okanagan_sun
Motto – #sunwin #sunriseup
Primary Colours – Brown and Orange

Linebackers Week - Day 5

02/26/2021, 1:15pm PST
By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)

Most sacks in a CJFL career

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