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 - email@example.com.
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.
Photo courtesy of Boris Terzic
A total of eight players with CJFL experience were selected this week at the CFL Draft.
The day started on a high when former Westshore Rebels offensive lineman Dontae Bull was taken first overall by the Ottawa RedBlacks. He saw limited time with the Rebels in 2017.
The next CJFLer to hear his name came in the second round when the Edmonton Elks took defensive back Jacob Taylor who played for the St. Clair (Fratmen) Saints in the 2016 season. He helped a very stringy defence who allowed 15 points a game during the campaign.
In the third-round defensive lineman Kwadwo Boahen who spent time with the Canadian Bowl champion Okanagan Sun last season was picked 22nd overall by the Calgary Stampeders. Oddly enough is only season in the CJFL was in 2022 and he was taken 22nd overall.
Another defensive star in the CJFL was selected in the fourth round when defensive lineman Tanner Schmekel was chosen by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, 35th overall. Schmekel played the 2019 season with the Regina Thunder collecting eight tackles, had five assists, forced a fumble and put pressure on the opposing quarterback countless times.
Tight-end Sebastian Howard was the first of three former CJFL payers to be drafted in the sixth round. Howard was taken by the Stampeders, 49th overall after playing for the Langley Rams in 2019. He was part of a Rams team that when undefeated throughout the regular season and hosted the Canadian Bowl that season.
Cameron Fair was the lone CJFL kicker taken in the draft when he was selected 51st by the Stampeders. He spent the 2017 season as a member of the GTA Grizzlies connecting on eight field goals and averaged almost 30 yards a punt.
Linebacker Ife Onyemenam was the only player with CJFL experience to be chosen by the defending Grey Cup champion Toronto Argos. He was taken 54th overall, in the sixth round after playing the 2019 and 2022 seasons with the Regina Thunder.
The final CJFL player in the draft was running back Derek Best (pictured) who carried the rock for the Langley Rams in 2021 and 2022. He was selected 65th overall by the Edmonton Elks. During the Rams 2021 Canadian Bowl championship season he rushed 29 times for 204 yards and scored three majors. In the title game he scored the Rams lone rushing touchdown on 11 carries and picked up 55 yards. Then in 2022 he was even better with 381 yards on 60 carries and scored another three touchdowns.
Good luck to all eight players as they now head to their respective team camps.