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Recent Okanagan Sun News

National Signing Day

By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters) 05/28/2023, 10:15pm PDT

Players begin their CJFL careers on June 1st

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.


The Sun Rises

By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters) 05/24/2023, 8:45pm PDT

The defending champs open Spring Camp

Photo courtesy of Shoot the Breeze Photography

The defending Canadian Bowl champion Okanagan Sun open their 2023 Spring Camp this coming weekend as they prepare for their national title defence, their first since 2001.

The Sun had an incredible season last year going undefeated from start to finish, en route to a thrilling, come from behind Canadian Bowl victory in Regina.  It was their third national crown in franchise history after winning in 1988 and in 2000.  They have now won a Canadian title in all three CJFL Conferences, winning in Hamilton in 1988 (OFC), hosting and winning in 2000 (BCFC) and on the road in Regina (PFC) last year.

After winning a national crown, recruiting players is a bit easier and the Sun who already have an incredible pedigree will host Spring Camp with over 100 players strapping in.  Camp will feature a nice mix of first year players along with some of the veterans that are returning, looking to repeat the magic of last season. 

BC Conference Coach of the Year, Travis Miller also returns knowing what it takes to win a Canadian Bowl championship.  This season the winner of the BC Conference will host the title game, so getting to that standpoint is arguably easier than winning a pair of national games on the road like they had to do last year. 

All that said, the Sun will have several question marks following the graduation of numerous starters from last year.  Their Spring Camp will help answer some of those questions.

They will open the new campaign on Saturday July 29 when they travel to Prince Geroge to face the Kodiaks before their home opener the following weekend when they welcome the Valley Huskers.  They are planning to honour the 2022 team at their home opener. 


Celebration of Life - Ken Smith

By Supplied 05/22/2023, 2:30pm PDT

Come celebrate the life of a CJFL legend

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 -

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.

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