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Westshore Rebels

Regular Season 2021

Recent Westshore Rebels News

Member Monday: Westshore Rebels

02/08/2021, 8:00am PST
By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)

A proud member of the CJFL since 1985

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

BC Lions
Bill Chamberlain (also Calgary)
Moe Elewonibi (also Winnipeg, Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Football Club)
Jordan Matechuk
Jesse Newman
Lorne Plante
Tim O'Neil

Calgary Stampeders
John Bender
Robin Cote
Tim O’Neill
Jesse Newman
Blaine Kruger

Montreal Alouettes
Scott Mennie (also Winnipeg)
Andrew Woodruff

Winnipeg Bluebombers
Jordan Matechuk

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

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!