Photo courtesy of Wanda Harron Photography
Defensive lineman Jordon Tholl of the Regina Thunder would have played in his fifth and final CJFL season here in 2020, however the pandemic stopped him from that goal.
Despite the cancelled season, that did not stop Jordan from giving back to his community. He has demonstrated incredible leadership off the field volunteering in several charitable events and organizations.
He is the Prairie Conference “Al Park Community Award” winner and is a nominee for the CJFL Past Commissioner Award which is given to a player that has shown a commitment to make a valuable contribution within the community.
Jordan talks with Ryan Watters below about some of the inspiring organizations he volunteers with.
Here is Jordan’s official nomination put forth by the Thunder and Prairie Conference:
Jordan is a fifth year player with our club and has demonstrated leadership on & off the field. He is admired and respected by his teammates and coaches always leading by example. He has completely bought into the concept of “winning on and off the field” and is an active member of the community and shows great commitment to the Regina Thunder football program all year round. Jordan was a strong leader for our rookies during the COVID 19 pandemic through his work as co-creator of “SaskMasks,” a social enterprise that manufactured and designed masks for the pandemic response. This initiative raised over $50,000 for local charities. Jordan was able to take a difficult and stressful time in the pandemic to demonstrate to his teammates that you can take a difficult situation and lend your efforts to make a difference.
Jordan is a student athlete enrolled in Business Administration at the University of Regina. He has managed to balance a strong commitment to his team, his community, and his studies.
He is a dominant player on the field but truly has a heart for children, people in need and those socioeconomically disadvantaged. Jordon is a two-sport elite athlete with a passion for football and wrestling.
With all the demands of working and performing as a student athlete, he still finds time to be an active two sport mentor and coach. This year Jordan continued his coaching at O’Neill high school. He has also coached a minor flag football team, was a coach for the Regina High School Leboldus wrestling team and guest coached at Regina’s Martin Collegiate spring football camp.
Jordan identified a local not-for-profit agency that he has become passionate about. Carmichael Outreach, a community-based organization advocates on behalf of and provides services to people who are experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of experiencing homelessness. Carmichael fosters empowerment through dignity, respect, and advocacy, as well as engaging the community in its work to end poverty and homelessness. During the start of COVID, Jordan was an active volunteer in the meals preparation program at Carmichael, where the center saw a huge growth in its clients needing meals, especially children and youth who were unable to receive their school nourishment or lunch programs due to the closure of schools.
He was also a participant for the “Five Days for the Homeless” initiative for Carmichael Outreach. This annual fundraiser is held each year at the University of Regina in conjunction with the Business Student’s Society at the Paul J. Hill School of Business. Jordan was one of five participants who slept outside for five nights, giving up many luxuries such as cell phones, clean clothing, showers, and regular access to meals, in an effort to open the conversation about the causes of homelessness while raising funds for the day-to-day operations at Carmichael. The 2018 Five Days for the Homeless was another roaring success, surpassing their goal of $50,000. This is the most raised by any school in the nine years that Five Days has been around.
Jordan’s involvement with Carmichael also included time as a dedicated volunteer who spent countless hours painting the inside and outside of the Shelter and facilities to ensure that the necessary renovations were completed to “brighten up the days for the residents.”
Jordan is a mentor for his teammates and also for his fellow students at the University. He volunteered as a UofR Ambassador and has been a regular volunteer for the Regina Thunder Acts of Kindness Program including the production of a poster story board video entitled “No One Fights Alone.” This campaign presented three Regina Thunder Brothers, suffering from terminal illnesses with support and outreach for their fights with their respective diseases. Jordan was an active participant and organizer of this event. He has also volunteered to visit children in the hospital and has delivered game tickets to families and children fighting illnesses in our community.
Perseverance, discipline, kindness are all terms that come to mind when describing this young man. The Thunder knows he will continue to accomplish great things! He is a unanimous choice for the Regina Thunder for this award.
What a year for sport in Canada in 1976 as Montreal became the first Canadian city to host the Olympic Games in July.
The year was a leap year, which began on a Thursday and the CJFL kicked off with four Conferences and 31 teams. The Ontario Conference itself had three divisions and 13 teams, the Manitoba Conference had four, the Alberta Junior Conference tallied eight and had teams from Saskatchewan and the BC Conference had six strong. It’s interesting to note only one team finished the season undefeated; the Ottawa Sooners were 8-0 but lost in the Conference semi-final.
In the “Year of the Dragon” the road to the Canadian Bowl featured four Conference champions:
Ontario Football Conference – Hamilton Hurricanes defeated the Verdun Maple Leafs in a best of three series.
Manitoba Junior Football Conference – St. Vital Mustangs also beat the Winnipeg Hawkeyes in a best of three series
Alberta Junior Football League – Regina Rams beat the Edmonton Wildcats 62-28
Big Four Football (BC Conference) – Vancouver Meralomas shutout the North Shore Cougars 24-0
During the 1976 playoffs the CJFL featured a pair of Inter-Conference semi-finals to determine who would play for the Armadale Cup (known today as the Canadian Bowl). The Ontario champion Hurricanes pounded the Manitoba champion Mustangs 23-8 to advance, then the Alberta champion Rams dominated the BC champion Meralomas 48-0 to set a date with the Hurricanes.
The national championship Armadale Cup was played on November 13, 1976 in front of an incredible 10,000 fans in Regina. The Rams used the big crowd energy to perfection and crushed the Hurricanes 45-23. The victory marked the second straight season defeating the Hurricanes in the national championship game. In four 1976 playoff games the Rams’ defence pitched a pair of shutouts.
Off the field in 1976 the Apple Computer Company was formed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. The CN Tower in Toronto opened its doors in June and Rocky was the top grossing movie of the year, knocking out the competition with $55,900,000 earned at the box office.
The first laser printer was also introduced in 1976 by IBM and Wings had the top song on the Billboard Charts with “Silly Love Songs.”
Pierre Trudeau was the Prime Minister watching the Montreal Canadians sweep the Philadelphia Flyers in four games to win the Stanley Cup. The Toronto Blue Jays were created in ’76, then played their first game the following season.
Back on the gridiron it was a battle of the Roughriders in the 64th Grey Cup when the Ottawa Rough Riders defeated the Saskatchewan Roughriders 23-20 in Toronto. Some experts still say this was the most thrilling Grey Cup. Meanwhile down south the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Dallas Cowboys 21-17 in Super Bowl 10.
That was the year of 1976!
At the beginning of the 1987 season, there were 29 teams across five different Conferences in the CJFL.
Incredibly of those 29 teams, seven of them finished with just one loss. It showed just how well balanced the CJFL was in the “Year of the Rabbit.”
The road to the Canadian Bowl started with the Conference winners, who were:
BCFC – Okanagan Sun
PFC – Regina Rams
MJFC – St. Vital Mustangs
OFC – Windsor AKO Fratmen
QMJFC – North Shore Broncos
To determine the final two teams to play for national gold, three Inter-Conference playoff games need to be played. The Rams were the first team to punch their ticket to the Canadian Bowl, which they would host after a 45-23 win over the Sun.
Meanwhile the Ontario champion Fratmen disposed of the Quebec champion Broncos 24-6, but then were pounded by the Manitoba champion Mustangs 52-14. That victory advanced the Mustangs to face the Rams in the national championship game.
In 1987 the CJFL trophy was called the Armadale Cup, which was played in Regina on November 15th in front of 7,492 screaming fans. The Rams made sure they would continue to scream with a 31-23 victory to claim the national title on home soil. It was the Rams second straight championship and fourth of the decade.
The night before the big game the CJFL handed out some hardware at the Banquet of Champions. David Wheeler of the Winnipeg Hawkeyes was named the Offensive Player of the Year while Ian Gordon of Victoria Payless was named the Defensive Player of the Year.
Off the field in 1987, Three Men and a Baby was the top grossing movie at the box office collecting $167,780,960. It starred Tom Selleck, Ted Danson and Steve Guttenberg. Meanwhile The Bangles, Walk Like an Egyptian was at the top of the Billboard Charts. Speaking of music, U2 released Joshua Tree while Michael Jackson released “Bad” and Aretha Franklin becomes the first woman to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
In the 75th Grey Cup in Vancouver, Edmonton scored 17-fourth quarter points and beat Toronto 38-36. As a matter of fact the City of Edmonton celebrated another sports championship in ‘87 when the Oilers beat the Philadelphia Flyers in seven games to win the Stanley Cup. Down south the New York Giants took down the Denver Broncos 39-20 in Super Bowl 21.
Finally, there was an animated television showed that made its debut as a short on The Tracey Ullman Show in 1987, and you may recognize this show as it still airs new episodes here in 2020; The Simpsons.
That was the year of 1987!