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Valley Huskers

Regular Season 2019

Recent Valley Huskers News

Football Canada approves the CJFL

03/03/2021, 2:15pm PST
By Supplied

Football Canada is proud to welcome the CJFL as an Associate Member.

Football Canada is proud to welcome the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) as an Associate Member.

The approval of the CJFL marks the fourth Associate Member to join Football Canada in the last year, joining the Canadian Football League, U SPORTS and the Canadian Football Officials Association.

“Football Canada is now the hub of communications for our national contact football organizations to connect, collaborate and partner with grassroots football across the country,” Football Canada President Jim Mullin said.

“Coming out of this pandemic, it is critical that all football organizations within Canada work together as one instead of against each other to get all of our teams and players back on the field safely,” added CJFL Commissioner Jim Pankovich.  “I’m excited to be able to share best practices and ideas across the country to not only build our CJFL game, but football as a whole.  This partnership with the other organizations will give more opportunities for young men and women to play this game.”

The alliance creates pathways for expanded work on CJFL teams to participate in developing the game at the community level with Football Canada programming like First Down and CFL Futures focused on participation for youth under-12. It is also a catalyst for discussion with the CFL and U SPORTS to align areas of operations and events.

“We have already started a dialogue between the partners about how we can work together as a football community to maximize our high-performance events and contribute to minor football, and the CJFL is at the centre of that discussion,” continued Mullin.

The CJFL’s membership in Football Canada was facilitated by the recent ratification of Ontario Football Conference (OFC) Juniors return to the Ontario Football Alliance (OFA), the responsible body for football’s governance in Ontario. The OFC is set to host the CJFL championship Canadian Bowl this November, showcasing the talent and level of enthusiasm for junior football in the province and across the country.

ABOUT FOOTBALL CANADA: Established in 1880 and reconstituted in 1884, Football Canada is the national governing body of amateur football in Canada and a proud member of the International Federation of American Football (IFAF). Working closely with the provincial football associations, we develop programs and resources for players, coaches, officials in the three disciplines of Tackle, Flag and Touch Football. Football Canada’s vision statement is “from playground to stadium” where players can participate in the game of football throughout a lifetime recreationally, competitively and internationally.

Member Monday: Valley Huskers

01/18/2021, 2:30pm PST
By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)

They have been a CJFL member since 1999

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

CJFL Executive Of The Year

01/12/2021, 8:15am PST
By Supplied

Commissioner Jim Pankovich a pillar of strength

Photo courtesy of Louis Christ Photography

CJFL Commissioner Jim Pankovich has demonstrated an incredible amount of leadership during the COVID-19 crisis and has been named the 2020 CJFL Stewart MacDonald Executive Of The Year.

Starting from the very early days of the pandemic, Jim had envisioned the difficult path that was before us and began to strategize and approach to deal with the situation.

Jim’s calm, cool, and measured approach kept the Canadian Junior Football League on track to making a difficult decision based on a tremendous amount of information from multiple sources. The outcome ultimately wound up being the best decision one could make for the safety and well being for the athletes, coaches and entire CJFL.

The Commissioner spent hundreds of hours, talking with experts, politicians, doctors, CFL football executives and a multitude of CJFL members throughout the country in the early stages of the pandemic.  Jim had developed a primary plan as well as many multi leveled and layered contingency plans and was able to present these to stakeholders in a matter that had led to the consistent buy in and ownership of all the parties involved.

His in-depth analysis and planning put the CJFL in a place where the league moved methodically forward while maintaining an optimistic view for what was to come. Timelines were developed for primary and secondary strategies, input was requested and documented and thoroughly discussed with all the key stakeholders allowing for educated thought through debates and decisions.

Although the cancellation of the 2020 season and the Canadian Bowl was not the desire of anyone, when it came time to make that decision everyone was confident that the league had viewed and analyzed all angles and the best decision for the safety of the whole was made. Despite the gravity of this decision the CJFL holds the belief that we are still in a strong position to succeed going forward and faith or optimism has not been lost for future seasons. This was accomplished only because Jim’s complete dedication and commitment to ensure no stone was left unturned before a decision was made. His desire and professional, positive attitude was the glue that held the CJFL executive together throughout this challenging time.  

The CJFL did not react hastily nor erratically when it came time to cancel the 2020 season. Jim epitomized the old-World War II mantra of “stay calm and carry on.”

Jim has won this award previously in 2015, and it is a testament to his extreme ability to lead our league that he is awarded the Executive Of The Year five years later. Many have discussed that with Jim Pankovich at the vanguard of this crisis, we were never in a position of defeat but in a position of growth and evolution of the game of junior football in Canada.