It will be a busy CJFL weekend across the country as six teams will open their 2023 Spring Camp.
The Edmonton Huskies are the first this weekend to kick-off, which they will on Thursday. The Huskies are coming off a season that saw them finish 5-3 and in third place in the Prairie Conference. They fell to the Saskatoon Hilltops in the Prairie Conference playoffs ending their campaign.
This Spring Camp is the Huskies first step in replacing the multi-talented Alex Gayle who has now graduated from the program. Last season he was their primary threat rushing for 923 yards on 150 carries and scored 10 touchdowns. He was named the Conference’s Offensive Player of the Year and will be very difficult to replace.
The Huskies open the regular season on Sunday August 13 when they host the Winnipeg Rifles.
The defending Prairie Conference champion Regina Thunder will open their camp on Friday after several indoor winter sessions. The coaching staff have some very important decisions to make heading into this season after the graduation of a number of key pieces.
Over the last two seasons the Thunder haven’t lost a regular season game and are looking to come out of the gate strong once again in 2023. Their final game last year ended in heartbreak, losing the Canadian Bowl on their home turf after leading at halftime.
Once again, the Thunder expect a large turnout of players to attend this weekend as they begin preparation to open the new campaign on the road on Sunday August 13th when they visit the Calgary Colts.
The Saskatoon Hilltops open their Spring Camp on Friday with another large contingent of players expected. Their club has run a series of winter sessions, but now they get to head outdoors and evaluate their players on the big field.
The Toppers once again have high hopes coming into the regular season after falling in the Prairie Conference title game a year ago.
No doubt this coaching staff and the returning players are ready to buckle up and get back to their championship winning ways. They will open the regular season at home on Sunday August 13 when they host the Edmonton Wildcats.
Speaking of the Wildcats, they are another CJFL team that opens Spring Camp this weekend.
This will be first under new head coach Kevin Wuthrich as they look to try and improve off their winless record from last season.
The Wildcats are expecting a big turnout this weekend even though they are completing with their crosstown rivals the Edmonton Huskies who are holding camp at the same time.
Over in the BC Conference the Langley Rams open Spring Camp this weekend under new head coach Jordan McCarty. The former quarterback of the Rams rejoins the club and will look to bring them back to their playoff winning ways. The Rams are just two seasons removed from their Canadian Bowl championship in 2021.
Last season the Rams finished 5-5 and made an early exit in the playoffs, but it did give their returning players a taste of the CJFL post season. Offensively last year they did struggle to score points, so it will be interesting to see how a former quarterback can bring life back into the Rams.
They will open the 2023 season on Saturday July 29 when they visit the Valley Huskers.
The Kamloops Broncos begin their march back to the postseason this weekend when they open Spring Camp.
Traditionally the Broncos have a very solid showing of players, and this weekend should be no different as the club has recruited several top-notch athletes. The coaching staff will see the fruits of their labour as they hit beautiful Hillside Stadium beginning on Friday, then finishing off on Sunday with a live scrimmage.
Last season the Broncos just missed the playoffs by one win, something that will no doubt motivate their returning players when they open the schedule on the road at Westshore on August 5th. As a matter of fact, the Broncos actually open the season with five straight road games, then finish with five straight at home.
The CJFL and Prairie Conference (PFC) have released their 2023 schedule that will see the six-member Conference open the CJFL season on Sunday August 13, 2023 with a full slate of games.
The Conference champion Regina Thunder begin their title defence that afternoon at 1:00pm when they visit the Calgary Colts. The Saskatoon Hilltops who finished as the second seed last year will host the Edmonton Wildcats on the same day and the Edmonton Huskies welcome the Winnipeg Rifles.
The teams are scheduled to play an eight-week regular season concluding on October 8th. The Conference playoffs will open the following weekend with a pair of semi-finals before the Conference title game scheduled for Sunday October 22nd.
The winner of the Prairie Conference will host the winner of the Ontario Conference in the CJFL national semi-final game the following week, Sunday October 29th. The winner of this game will then travel to BC and play for the 2023 Canadian Bowl and a national crown. It will be the first national final host by the BC Conference since 2019.
The BC and Ontario Conferences continue to work on their schedules and do anticipate releasing them in the coming weeks.
The CJFL was very well represented at the CFL Invitational Combine with seven players completing among some of the best from US colleges and U-Sport programs.
Below are the final results from the seven players that took part:
|Players||Bench Press||40-Yard||Vertical||Broad Jump||3-Cone||Shuttle Run|
|Burgmaier, Donovan||21||5.37||30||8'10 1/8||7.53||4.7|
|Charles, Shawn||4||4.92||28||8'11 7/8||7.94||DNP|
|Hayes-Williams, Jared||DNP||5.01||27||8'9 5/8||7.44||4.45|
|O'Shea, Mike||DNP||4.86||34||9'8 5/8||7.26||4.4|
|Oling, Ronnie||11||4.78||32||9'2 3/4||7.32||4.37|