For some, Thursday June 1st is the biggest day of their young lives, as the CJFL presents National Signing Day.
The day is earmarked every year on June 1st, the day in which players can finally sign with a CJFL club. When a player signs an agreement, he is essentially signing for his entire junior football career as the player then becomes the property of that team.
So many considerations are made before signing with a CJFL club; location, team support, roster depth, coaching staff, scholarship program, etc. all weighs in on a player’s decision.
National Signing Day is not only exciting for the players, but the coaches as well. Their ideas, hopes and hard work will finally come to fruition as they start to fill their roster spots.
Following National Signing Day coaches can continue to recruit and sign a player immediately if he’s a good fit for their team. That said the bulk of the players ready to play in the CJFL will sign on June 1st.
Once players sign on the dotted line, coaches can begin developing their schemes and systems around their potential starters. They can also begin preparing for their Main Camp along with Week 1 of the regular season.
All three Conferences and 19 CJFL teams will participate on June 1st, signing players to their 2023 roster.
Fans can keep up to date with CJFL National Signing Day on social media with #CJFLSigningDay as teams will be posting once a player signs.
Join the CJFL and BCFC families as we celebrate the incredible life of Ken Smith! He never wanted a formal service but always enjoyed getting together with family and friends to visit, have some laughs and share some stories.
Celebration of Life details:
Date: Friday, September 1, 2023. This is a few days before what would have been his 103rd birthday.
Location: North Surrey Minor Football clubhouse located at 13750-88th avenue, Bear Creek Park, Surrey. This is a place that was very special to Ken; he spent a lot of time over the course of his football life.
Time: 1:30 - 3:30-pm
The celebration will have a few speakers from the various walks of his life, a tribute to his beloved late wife Mary then an open mic for anyone who wants to share.
Please RSVP to Helen Johnson - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who was Ken Smith
Ken Smith was named a CJFL Life Member in 1993 and held the same distinction within the BC Conference. The Executive of the Year award in the BC Conference is named after Ken and has been for quite sometime. During his tenure as the Surrey Rams President, he is credited for saving the team during tough times in the 1980s and secured the grant necessary to build the lights on Bear Creek practice fields in North Surrey.
Ken is a decorated war veteran who served with the Cameron Highlanders of Canada in WW II and a survivor of the Dieppe Raid on the coast of France.
Ken was 102.
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.