The Canadian Junior Football League and Ontario Conference is saddened by the recent passing of one of our longstanding executives William (Bill) Prest (March 25, 1935 - June 9, 2021). His involvement with football began in 1963 as the Register of the Junior Ontario Football Rugby Union (JrOFRU). He held that position until 1970 when the OFC and the JrOFRU merged. Prest was appointed Secretary Treasurer, a position he held until stepping down in 2008. He also held the position of Eastern Chairman of the CJFL for two years in the 1970s.
For his dedication and commitment to the league, Prest was awarded a lifetime membership to the CJFL in 1990. Then following the 1999 campaign nine years later, he received the prestigious Ed Henick Meritorious Service Award which is presented to a volunteer who has devoted the majority of their life to junior football.
In his honour, "The Bill Prest Community Service Award" was established to annually recognize a player in the Ontario Conference who is involved in their community outside of football.
Prest is being remembered as a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and a good friend to many.
Everyone at the OFC and CJFL would like to pass on our deepest condolences to Prest’s family and friends.
The Ontario Conference is pleased to announce that they are moving forward with plans to have a 2021 season.
The Conference is encouraged by the discussions that their partners at the Ontario Football Alliance (OFA) have been having with the Provincial Government and will continue to take direction from them in planning for a season.
The health and safety of the players, coaches, training staff and volunteers is paramount. All plans will be based on local health recommendations and will be in line with all federal, provincial and municipal regulations.
Information regarding a season start date, schedule and training camps are all still being discussed and more information on these will be released at a later date.
Photo courtesy of Wanda Harron Photography
Needless to say it’s been a while since the Regina Thunder and the rest of the CJFL have seen any live action. The Thunder specifically have not played a game since October 20, 2019 when the lost in the Prairie Conference semi-final to the Edmonton Huskies.
Coming into this hopeful 2021 season the Thunder have set the bar and their standards very high with several players back from 2019, coupled with talented new recruits. The coaches, led by head coach Scott MacAulay and the Thunder Board of Directors have put in a lot of time and effort into this upcoming season.
QB Blake Scherle – The starting pivot was simply outstanding during the 2019 season and was named the CJFL All-Canadian quarterback. He completed 58.3% of his passes, connecting 144 times for a Conference high 2196 yards. His 17 touchdown passes were tied for the most in the Conference and his pass efficiency rating was 93.8.
OL Logan Ferland – Just how good was Logan Ferland as a Thunder? He was a three-time CJFL All-Canadian, was a Conference All-Star and spent the 2019 season on the Saskatchewan RoughRiders’ practice roster. He officially signed with the Riders in December of 2019 and should be in green and white later this summer.
DL Carson Bell – He was a CJFL All-Canadian following the 2019 season and was a beast on the line for the Thunder. He collected 2.5 sacks, 11 tackles, 13 assisted stops and had a fumble recovery. He will be missed as he pursues a degree and a football career at the University of Saskatchewan.
Entering Final Season:
LB Davin Williamson – He is the heart and soul of the Thunder defence leading them with 26 tackles during the 2019 season. He also tallied eight assisted tackles, had a knockdown, recovered a fumble and had an interception.
DL Jordan Tholl – He is a force on and off the field. On it he tallied 2.5 sacks in 2019 along with six tackles and eight assisted stops. Off it, he showed generosity and kindness involving himself with several charitable organizations and for his efforts was named the CJFL Past Commissioner award winner for incredible community involvement.
OL Matthew Hajewich – Without Logan Ferland on the Thunder line, Hajewich will be looked upon to anchor the line and give the new quarterback time to throw.
What They Need:
The Thunder coaching staff believes they have the starters and depth to make some noise in the Prairie Conference this upcoming season. One of the only spots they feel they could use a few more bodies is the same position all CJFL teams need; players on both the offensive and defensive lines.
WR Rylan Sokul – In 2019 the Thunder boasted the top two production receivers as Ethan Douglas and Isaac Foord were the only two to each collect over 600 receiving yards. Douglas led the Conference with 631 yards and seven touchdowns. That said the Thunder are counting on Sokul to put up the same kind of production numbers. In 2019 he collected 20 receptions averaging 17.4 yards a catch and caught three touchdowns.
LB Ryan Mills – Along with Williamson the Thunder linebacker position is stacked. They are hopeful to see Mills breakout after making 10 tackles and two knockdowns in 2019.
DB Bobo Kisusari – The Thunder secondary will be a strength for this team and it’s led by Kisusari. In 2019 he made two interceptions to compliment his 16 solo tackles.
The Thunder like all CJFL teams are hopeful the 2021 season will move forward with either a full or modified schedule. They are currently scheduled to kick-off the season on August 8th on the road in Edmonton against the Huskies.