The CJFL Life Member Award is saved for an individual that has contributed a great deal to their team, their Conference and to the CJFL as a whole. Today’s Life Member honouree has done all that and more.
Gord Johnson got his first taste of a junior football executive board in the early 2000’s as a member of the Abbotsford Air Force. He showed passion for the team and was named President of the board until their final season in 2006.
Two years later Gord joined the VI Raiders board in 2008 and watched them win a CJFL Canadian Bowl national championship that season. The Raiders finished the regular season at 9-1 and cruised through the BC Conference post season outscoring the opposition 95-18. They then went into Saskatoon to beat the Hilltops behind Andrew Harris 27-25 propelling them to the Canadian Bowl in Burlington, Ontario. The Braves were no match for the Raiders who won their second title in three seasons by a of 35-8 score.
Gord’s passion for junior football continued to grow over the next couple of seasons joining the BC Conference board and becoming the Vice-President in 2012. The very next year he was voted in as President.
As the BC Conference President, Gord worked tirelessly with the membered teams through both the ups and downs for the next four seasons before stepping away following the 2017 campaign. Under his eye the BC Conference hosted a pair of Canadian Bowls in 2014 and 2016; hosted in Langley and Westshore respectfully.
For all the long volunteer hours Gord sunk into the BC Conference, the Air Force and the Raiders the CJFL is proud to honour him with this Life Member Award. Congratulations Gord!
The Westshore Rebels became a member of the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) in the BC Conference in 1985 following three consecutive Tier II championships from 1982-1984 as the Victoria Hornets.
The Rebels in the past 35 seasons have gone through a couple of different identities in their franchise history. Once becoming a full member of the CJFL the Hornets became the Victoria Payless from 1985-1993 after being sponsored by Payless Gas Company. In their nine seasons as Payless, they would finish with an overall record of 30-45-1 qualifying for the post season six times but didn’t win a game.
In 1994, the new season came with a new name. The sponsorship of Payless was not renewed so the club changed their name to the Vancouver Island Sharks. In their four seasons the club finished with a dismal 6-34 record and 0-2 in the playoffs.
The ’98 season brought on another new name change as the Victoria Rebels were born. Playing out of Royal Athletic Park the new Rebels brand immediately brought on a winning season. They finished 6-4 but lost in the BC semi-final. Overall they would play 13 seasons in Victoria compiling a 74-52-4 regular season record, making the playoffs 10 times. Unfortunately for the Rebels they were 6-11 in the playoffs and 1-4 in the BC Cullen Cup final. That one BC title however propelled them to their first Canadian Bowl appearance in 2003. They ran into an undefeated Saskatoon Hilltop juggernaut that averaged over 39 points a game and a defence that allowed just 11 points. The CJFL title game was played on a neutral field in Chilliwack and the Hilltops shutout the Rebels 59-0.
Following the 2010 season the Rebels once again packed up and moved. This time they made their new home in Langford, a suburb of Victoria and became known as the Westshore Rebels. They were fortunate to move into the new Westhills Stadium which welcomed them with open arms.
Since this most recent move the Rebels have played nine seasons in Langford combining for a 46-43-2 regular season record. They also hosted their first Canadian Bowl in 2016 after a first place finish. They again faced the Hilltops and though it was a better game, the Hilltops still got the best of the Rebels with a 37-25 win.
Throughout the team’s history they have finished in first place in the BC Conference twice; in 2016 and 2017 and have appeared in two Canadian Bowls. In their 35 year history they have won two Cullen Cup titles and have a 155-173-7 overall record. Three players have been named the CJFL Outstanding Offensive Player of the Year; Simon Beckow (WR/R) in 1992, Nate Cote (QB) in 2007 and Jamal Lyles (RB) in 2016. On the other side of the ball four players have been named the League’s Top Defender; Ian Gordon (DE) in 1987, Troy Francis (DB) in 1990, Scott Gilbert (LB) in 1999 and Mike Kissinger (LB) in 2000.
Alums who have played in the CFL
Bill Chamberlain (also Calgary)
Moe Elewonibi (also Winnipeg, Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Football Club)
Scott Mennie (also Winnipeg)
Quick Rebels Facts:
Conference – BC Conference
Location – 1089 Langford Pkwy, Victoria
President – Rob Lervold
Head Coach – Shane Beatty
Stadium – Westhills Stadium
Social Handle - @westshorerebels
Motto –Westshore Boomin’
Primary Colours – Red and White
Photo courtesy of Jim Motokado
The Valley Huskers became a member of the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) in the BC Conference in 1999. Over the course of their 20 years of playing they have been branded as the Chilliwack Huskers, the Chilliwack Valley Huskers and most recently the Valley Huskers.
They started their play at Townsend Park in Chilliwack for two seasons before crossing the street and have played at Exhibition Stadium since 2001. As a matter of fact that season they also recorded their best finish at 7-3 and second place in the Interior Division of the BC Conference. They went onto a 26-21 victory in the semi-final over the Tri-City Bulldogs, but then fell in the Cullen Cup championship game.
Since their berth in 1999 the Huskers have an overall record of 49-157-1 tie. They have made the post-season five times with their only victory in 2001 over the Bulldogs.
Since the hiring of head coach Bob Reist the Huskers have been moving in the right direction for the past three seasons. In 2018 Reist was named the CJFL Gordon Currie Coach of the Year leading the Huskers to a 6-4 record and a very potent offence.
There were high hopes for the Huskers in 2020 before the season was canceled due to the pandemic. The high expectations continue here in 2021 as Reist and his coaching staff are preparing for another major step in the organization’s history.
In their 20 year history they have had three major CJFL award winners, two of which came from the 2018 season. Reist was named Coach of the Year while James Moar was named the CJFL Past Commissioner Award winner for excellence in community service. In 2010 Teague Funk was also named the Past Commissioner Award winner.
Furthermore for the past two seasons Brandon Poulin has been named the CJFL All-Canadian for Return Specialist.
The Huskers have had one player in their alumni crack a CFL roster; Teague Sherman who played with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Ottawa RedBlacks.
Quick Huskers Facts:
Conference – BC Conference
Location – 45323 Hodgons Ave, Chilliwack, BC
Team President – Tom Caverly
Head Coach – Bob Reist
Stadium – Exhibition Stadium
Social Handle -@thehuskers, @bcfc_huskers, @valleyhuskers
Motto – “New Crop” and “Grow The Road”
Primary Colours – Black / Green / Gold