The Canadian Junior Football League has determined that it is not feasible to operate a regular season or playoffs for the 2020 season. Our focus and attention will now be on our return to play plan for the 2021 season.
“It is very disappointing to make this announcement today, but our priority is the health and safety of our players, coaches, staff, and team administrators”, stated CJFL Commissioner Jim Pankovich.
Since the beginning of this pandemic, the CJFL has followed all public health guidelines and will continue to support them in the future. Unfortunately, at this stage, return to play guidelines do not allow for large enough gatherings to make training and competition safe for our athletes. Despite our hope that the situation in Canada would improve and allow for the CJFL to proceed with the 2020 season, the health and safety challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing risk to our players, coaches and staffs make it unfeasible for the CJFL teams to compete in 2020.
"Our teams play an important role in their communities. All CJFL teams will continue to engage with their players and communities as regional public health regulations allow." continued Pankovich.
We look forward to returning to competition in 2021.
Last year the Hamilton Hurricanes had a potent running attack once again in the Ontario Conference as both Jevante Stanley and quarterback Ethan Belbeck averaged over five yards a carry.
Speaking of Belbeck the Hurricanes’ offensive line gave him a chance to throw the ball down the field completing a Conference high 63% of his passes for over 1600 yards and 16 touchdowns. Two of his receivers, Keyshaun Jordan and Khalil Wilson each averaged over 20 yards a reception.
All this was possible thanks to a big and mean offensive line giving Belback time in the pocket.
One of the anchors of that line is fourth year player James Sides. Prior to a game in Branford he went Under the CJFL Helmet with Ryan Watters to talk football, video games and tomatoes.
We also catch up with James at home during the pandemic to find out which NFL player he would like to spend the day with and what they would do.
The CJFL continues its weekly look at some of the legendary coaches that have graced our sidelines either in the past or here in the present.
In Windsor, one name has spent the last 17 seasons as the head coach of the Fratmen. Mike LaChance has compiled 95 regular season victories as the head coach along with 15 playoff wins and four Ontario Conference titles.
He started his role as the head coach following the great John Bloomfield in 2003 and has been on the sideline ever since and shows no sign of slowing down. If the 2020 season moves forward it’ll be his 18th consecutive which is the second longest CJFL streak, only Tom Sargeant of the Saskatoon Hilltops has more seasons as a CJFL head coach.
LaChance joined the Fratmen in 1996 as the wide receivers coach and offensive coordinator. Under this title the Fratmen won 51 times in the regular season, had seven playoff victories and four Conference championship wins. In 1999 the Fratmen captured the Canadian Bowl title with LaChance on the sidelines. It’s also the last time a team from the Ontario Conference tasted a national title.
He not only is heavily involved on the football scene, but LaChance also coaches baseball in the Windsor area keeping him busy year round.
The 2020 season begins a new era of Windsor football and they have the right man at the forefront as the Fratmen have become the St. Clair Fratmen striking up a partnership with the college. They will play at a brand new facility with new uniforms and a new colour scheme.
Since beginning his coaching career in the CJFL in 1996 LaChance has racked up 146 regular season wins, 22 playoff wins, eight Ontario Conference championships and one Canadian Bowl. He is most deserving of the CJFL Legendary status.