Photo courtesy of Tamiko Lyle
The sun will come up on another CJFL season later this month and in Kelowna one of the most storied franchises is ready to go after sitting idle last year.
Like the rest of the CJFL, the Okanagan Sun are itching to get back onto the field here in 2021 following the cancellation of last season due to the ongoing pandemic. They will have some new and familiar faces on and off the field this year but the expectation is still the same; win.
On the field a handful of alumni are back to join the coaching staff most notably former offensive lineman Travis Miller has been named the Offensive Coordinator while former linebacker Eli Haynes takes over as Defensive Coordinator. Off the field the Sun executive have several familiar faces in new roles including President Evan Parker, GM Nat Nagy and Vice President Jason Harding.
DB Mitch Walz – he was an important part of the Sun secondary in 2019 intercepting a pass, making 12 tackles and forced a fumble
RB Kelton Kouri – he leaves a big hole in the Sun backfield after gaining 804 yards on 126 carries in 2019 and added a pair of touchdowns. He also made 13 receptions for 98 yards and scored a major coming out of the backfield
DL Cory McCoy – he had 19 solo tackles in 2019, added four sacks, a knockdown and was named a CJFL All-Canadian
Entering Final Season:
DB Cole Stregger –will be asked to make an impact in the secondary after a 2019 season where he collected 15 tackles, three knockdowns, forced a fumble and had three interceptions
LB Tyler Going – he was a CJFL All-Canadian in 2019 and will be asked to do even more this season after compiling 32 tackles, two sacks, two knockdowns, forced a fumble and picked off two passes
OL Dan Townsend –he’s been an anchor on the Sun offensive line and is back after his All-Canadian performance in 2019
What They Need:
Head coach Jamie Boreham is pleased with the players they have signed and will see in camp when the wildfire smoke clears in Kelowna. That said the Sun are “always looking for the right players with the right character.”
DB Garret Cape –he will be counted on for even more production this season after a solid 2019 performance. That season he collected 25 tackles, had a pair of knockdowns, forced three fumbles and intercepted a pass
LB Tyler Going – heading into his final season Going will be one of the leaders on the Sun defence after an All-Canadian performance in 2019
OL Dan Townsend – the Sun run game will be only as good as the All-Canadian can take it. He will be again asked to blow open running lanes and in the same breath give the quarterback time to look down the field
The Sun will open the 2021 CJFL season on Saturday August 28th when they host the Kamloops Broncos. This game will officially kick-off the BC Conference schedule as the lone game of the weekend.
The two-time defending Cullen Cup champion Langley Rams are hungry for their first ever Conference three-peat when their 2021 schedule opens on September 11. They will begin the season when they visit the VI Raiders at their brand new home of NDSS Field in Nanaimo.
The Rams will return several players from their 2019 Canadian Bowl team and should be the BC Conference favourite when the season opens.
As the season approaches the Rams are excited to launch a new website in the coming weeks where fans can keep up to date with the club, their favourite players and find links to watch the live streams of each game. The team’s board also looks a bit different this season with familiar faces in new roles including President Derek Henneberry, VP Chad Henderson, Treasurer Shawn Ziegler and Directors Rob Shearar, Chris Rohan and Shawn Dolynski.
RB Andrew Pocrnic – the reigning CJFL Outstanding Offensive Player of the Year leaves a huge hole at the running back position. In 2019 he set a new CJFL record for rushing touchdowns in a single season with 26 and collected 1199 yards on 163 carries. He was signed by the BC Lions as a territorial protected player back in December and is enjoying his first CFL training camp.
DL Partap Sandhu – He was a force on the line in 2019 with 6.5 sacks, eight solo tackles and a pair of assisted stops.
DL Nick Sorace – He’s another big loss on the Rams line after a terrific 2019 season. He recorded 13 solo tackles, had an assist and 2.5 sacks
Entering Final Season:
DB Kyle Charot – He’s a two-time All-Canadian and is primarily matched up with the opposition’s top receiver. He can play all over the field and compiled 21 tackles in 2019 along with 5.5 sacks, four knockdowns, a fumble recovery and picked off two passes, returning one for a touchdown.
RB/R Maximilian Joseph – He’s a threat each and every time he touches the ball and will be looked upon to lead the running attack after the departure of Pocrnic. In the 2019 Canadian Bowl he scored the lone touchdown coming out of the backfield.
OL Ross Baykey & Nikos Lazarakas – they are two players who have been extremely important pieces of the Rams offensive attack both on the ground and through the air. Without these two players, Pocrnic who not have had the season he did in 2019.
LB Cole Barron – In 2019 Barron was a massive piece of the Rams stellar defence. He made 28 solo tackles, had two assisted stops, forced a fumble and had 6.5 sacks. He’s back for the 2021 season bigger and stronger and has a hunger to get back to the National Championship game.
DB Nathan Murray – The Rams are hoping he can have an even larger impact this season after his 2019 performance. That year he had five interceptions, 16 solo tackles, had a knockdown and an assisted stop.
DB Michael Calvert – a newcomer to the Rams, but no stranger to football after playing the 2019 season with the UBC Thunderbirds. The Rams are counting on him to have an immediate impact in the secondary lining up beside the likes of Charot and Murray.
The Rams open the season with three straight road games traveling to Nanaimo, Kelowna and will play the Valley Huskers in Abbotsford part of a CJFL Showcase Game before their first home game on October 2nd when they welcome the Westshore Rebels.
The CJFL and BC Conference (BCFC) is pleased to release the 2021 schedule that will see the six member Conference open the CJFL season on August 28th.
All games and dates are subject to change or adjusted with the ongoing COVID-19 staged reopening.
The Okanagan Sun will host the Kamloops Broncos to officially kick-off the Conference schedule as the lone game of the week on that date.
Week 3 will finally see all six teams in action for the first time due to the various regional reopening plans. The two-time defending Cullen Cup champion Langley Rams will open the season on the road in Nanaimo against the VI Raiders at their new home of NDSS Field. The Westshore Rebels will visit the Sun while the Valley Huskers welcome the Broncos.
In all, each of the six teams will play an eight game schedule concluding on October 30th. It’s the first time the BC Conference will play an eight-game schedule since 1992. The next weekend will see the top four teams advancing to the playoffs with the Cullen Cup Conference final played on November 13th.
The winner will host the 2021 national semi-final game against the winner of the Prairie Conference on November 20th. The winner of that game will travel to Ontario for the Canadian Bowl on December 4th.
The CJFL teams will strictly follow guidance from each of the Provincial Health Authorities and will have the ability to change the schedule if required for the safety of our players, coaches, team administrators and fans.