For some Monday June 1st is the biggest day of their young lives, as the CJFL presents its National Signing Day.
The day is earmarked every year on June 1st, the day in which players can finally sign with a CJFL club. When a player signs he is essentially signing for his entire junior football career as the player then becomes the property of that team.
So many considerations are made before signing with a CJFL club; location, team support, roster depth, coaching staff, scholarship program, etc all weighs in on a player’s decision.
National Signing Day is not only exciting for the players, but the coaches as well. Their ideas, hopes and hard work will finally come to fruition as they start to fill their roster spots.
Following National Signing Day coaches can continue to recruit and sign a player immediately if he’s a good fit for their team. That said the bulk of the players ready to play in the CJFL will sign on June 1st.
Once players sign on the dotted line, coaches can begin developing their schemes and systems around their potential starters. They can also begin preparing for their Main Camp along with Week 1 of the regular season, still to be determined as restrictions from COVID-19 begin to lift.
All three Conferences and 17 CJFL teams will participate on June 1st, signing players to their 2020 roster.
Fans can keep up to date with CJFL National Signing Day on social media with #CJFLSigningDay as teams will be posting once a player signs.
First and foremost thank you for voting in the CJFL Name Game! Over the course of the five rounds an incredible total of 2,077 votes were placed and in the final round 735 ballots were submitted.
When the dust settled it is Rory Iron of the Regina Thunder who owns the best CJFL Football Name thanks to your votes. He gathered 68.5% of the votes in the final round and defeated Chopper Hippe of the Edmonton Wildcats.
On the way to win the first ever CJFL Name Game, Iron defeated some quality football names along the way including Connor Shoebottom of the London Beefeaters, Mixon Madland of the Kamloops Broncos and Treasure Prodon of the Valley Huskers.
All player’s names in the CJFL Name Game were taken from team rosters from the 2019.
Thank you again for voting and taking part in this first ever contest.
The CJFL continues to monitor COVID-19 and is following the findings of the health care professionals across country regarding the upcoming 2020 season.
Photo courtesy of Gord Mellor
The CFL held its annual player draft on Thursday and seven former CJFL players heard their name called including one in the first round.
Former Edmonton Huskies offensive lineman and captain Theren Churchill was the first former CJFLer selected, chosen ninth overall by the Toronto Argonauts. He was the second player taken by the Argos in the first round after they took receiver Dejon Brissett from Virginia with the second overall pick. Churchill played for the Huskies from 2013-2016 before moving onto the University of Regina.
In the fifth round former Okanagan Sun defensive lineman Nicholas Dheilly was selected by the Grey Cup champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers, 46th overall. He played just one season for the Sun in 2018 leading the CJFL with eight sacks along with seven solo tackles, had three assisted stops and one knockdown.
The next former CJFL player to hear his named called was Jesse Lawson in the seventh round and 62nd overall. The offensive lineman played for the Langley Rams in 2014 helping them to host the Canadian Bowl. He followed his junior career up with a pair of seasons at Carlton University.
Two picks later the defending champion Blue Bombers selected another former CJFL player. This time All-Canadian Tanner Gaskill-Cadwallader of the London Beefeaters was selected 64th overall; the last pick of the seventh round. Last season with the Beefs the defensive back made 16 tackles, two assisted stops, had a pair of sacks, two knockdowns and intercepted three passes taking one back 52 yards for a touchdown.
In the eighth round former Langley Rams defensive lineman Brock Gowanlock was chosen 66th overall by the Montreal Alouettes. He played the 2014 and 2015 seasons with the Rams helping them to the Canadian Bowl in 2014. That year he had 13 tackles and 2.5 sacks, then had three stops in the Canadian Bowl. He exploded in 2015 dominating the line for the Rams recording a CJFL high 14.5 sacks along with 17 tackles, had a knockdown and returned a fumble 40 yards for a touchdown. Those 14.5 sacks are third most in a single season.
Turned out the Alouettes weren’t done drafting former CJFL players just yet. Three selections later they grabbed former Regina Thunder running back Colton Klassen 69th overall. He had two very successful seasons with the Thunder. As a rookie in 2014 he was thrust into an important position in their running attack and he finished with 294 yards on 52 carries and scored three touchdowns. However in 2015 he was a major factor winning the Prairie Conference rushing title with 911 yards on 117 carries, scoring five touchdowns. He was named an All-Canadian in 2015 as well making 19 receptions out of the backfield for 247 yards and two more touchdowns.
The final former CJFL star to be selected in the CFL draft on Thursday was Tom Schnitzler of the Saskatoon Hilltops. He was taken 72nd overall by the defending Eastern Conference champion Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He played all five of his junior seasons with the Hilltops and won four Canadian Bowl titles. He had a sparkling CJFL career combining for 53 tackles, 8.5 sacks, five fumble recoveries with a touchdown, two blocked kicks, a pair of forced fumbles and four interceptions two of which were returned for touchdowns. In his four Canadian Bowl appearances he collected 13 tackles, two sacks and had a fumble recovery.