skip navigation

Valley Huskers

Regular Season 2021

Recent Valley Huskers News

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.

Way Back Wednesday: 1976

12/02/2020, 10:00pm PST
By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)

The Year of the Dragon...and the Rams

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!