Photo courtesy of Kamloops This Week (2009)
Rob Ellis (left) will have another chance to turn the Kamloops Broncos into a competitive CJFL franchise.
The organization’s board of directors voted unanimously on Wednesday January 16th to make him head coach, a position he held in 2009 and 2010 before health concerns forced him to relinquish the job, according to a club press release.
Kamloops was 2-8 in 2008, the year before Ellis’ first tenure began. He led the team to a 5-15 record over the following two seasons.
He is inheriting an 0-10 club this year.
The winless 2018 campaign sparked a major organizational overhaul.
Gone are former head coach Brad Yamaoka, former president Dino Bernardo and former general manager Jan Antons.
Joe Liberatore has taken over GM duties and Darren Watt is listed as interim president on the club’s website.
“With the recent changes in the executive structure of the Kamloops Broncos, coach Ellis adds a sense of stability and structure,” the press release said. “His presence assures our fans, supporters and, most importantly, our players that we are seriously moving forward with renewed vigour and enthusiasm in putting the best possible product on the field.”
Photo courtesy of Greystoke Photography
“21 years ago I had my first interaction with the Okanagan Sun. I hated them, because I could not beat them. I respected them because I knew we were going to be in for a battle every single time. They were better than us, and when they showed up to the field, they garnered respect from the other team. Others even had a sense of fear.
As the next head coach of the Okanagan Sun we have our challenges ahead of us, but it will undoubtedly bring out the best in me, and I will undoubtedly bring out the best in our players and coaches. We have a responsibility that is greater than us. We have a tradition to uphold. We represent 38 years the Okanagan Sun has been a part of this community. We represent the many players and coaches that have come before us. Nagy, Christiansen, Houston, Letendre, Halverson and so many others. Some of the best people that I have played football with and against, wore the Orange and Brown. We represent this entire community, and we owe it to you to put the best product out on the field and in the community. I look forward to working with our community partners, strengthening relationships and building new ones. We will build leaders on our team and in our community. We will demand commitment, command respect and sacrifice for the good of the team. We will do ourselves, our families, our organization and our community proud.
Our players can expect something different. I will do my very best to give each of them a better experience than all the great ones given to me. I look forward to bringing my playing experience from the many stops along my road, namely Vancouver College, University of Manitoba, and the Saskatchewan Roughriders. I have been a captain at every level I have played at, and I will bring that leadership to our team. We will continue to bring in young men and develop them. When they leave us, they will not only be better football players, but more accountable people to themselves and the community around them.
This has been a long time coming, as a young boy my dream was to be a professional football player, later in high school I figured out that wouldn't last forever and that dream grew, I decided I also wanted to be a teacher and a coach. I am one of the luckiest people in the world, I have an amazing supportive family, I can not thank my wife Stacey enough for being as supportive as she has been in the pursuit of this dream, and my dad Mike who started me on my coaching career 25 years ago. I look forward to knowing that although my 2 kids (Beau and Bradie) never got to see me play, they will grow up watching me coach this amazing team. I am 40 years old and I am blessed to say that not only have I dreamed big, but I have lived my dreams every day. Being the head coach of an elite football program is the only one that had eluded me, until today. Now this dream will not be complete without Championships.
I want to thank all the many coaches, players and teams I have played with and for, they have all helped shape me into the person and coach I am today. I am excited and proud to be a part of this organization again. I look forward to working with the players, Lawrence Nagy, Les Weiss, Mike Botterill, the coaching staff and the rest of the organization to build a stronger, better, Okanagan Sun.” - Jamie Boreham
The Saskatoon Hilltops have won their fifth straight Canadian Bowl adding to their recording setting pace following a 58-21 victory over the Langley Rams on Saturday.
The Hilltops used a well balanced offensive attack led by the Offensive Player of the Game running back Josh Ewanchyna who had 28 carries for 245 yards and three touchdowns. His 245 yards is third most in Canadian Bowl history. Defensive All-Canadian Garth Knittig also had a one-yard touchdown plunge.
Quarterback Jordan Walls conducted the offence completing 16 of 21 for 247 yards and threw a pair of touchdown passes. John Brown hauled in four passes for 72 yards and a score while Keegan Dick caught four balls for 69 yards and a major. Walls even caught a 21 yard pass of his own on a trick play, which saw receiver Rylan Kleiter throw him the ball.
On the defensive side the Hilltops forced seven turnovers highlighted by a 48 yard pick-six by defensive back Logan Bitz who also had a pair of tackles and two assisted stops. He was named the Defensive Player of the Game. Bobby Ehman, who has now won five Canadian Bowl titles, led the Hilltops with oddly enough five solo tackles. Meanwhile Logan Kelsey-Stern blocked a field goal attempt.
On the other side of the field the Rams did have success throwing the football. Quarterback Duncan Little finished 20 of 31 for 265 yards and hit Jevon Cottoy for a 42 yard touchdown. Cottoy caught a game high five passes for 109 yards and even ran for a touchdown.
Perhaps the highlight of the game came from the Rams special teams as AJ Blackwell returned a kick-off 100 yards for a touchdown. It’s the second longest kick-off return in Canadian Bowl history. He also made a team high five solo tackles. Teammate Nathan Murray also made five tackles and had the lone interception.
Three Hilltop players, Adam Benkic, Connor Guillet and Ehman are the only players to have won five Canadian Bowl rings in their junior career.
The Hilltops will graduate a number of key pieces including Walls and CJFL Defensive Player of the Year Cody Peters and are now the only team in CJFL history to win five consecutive Canadian Bowls. Head Coach Tom Sargeant has now won 12 national championship games.