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.
As the month of May draws to a close heading in the final weekend, three CJFL teams will open their Spring Camp as they get on the field to evaluate their talent. This is also the final weekend before National Signing Day on Thursday.
The defending Ontario Conference champion St. Clair Saints are back on the field for their second spring camp after holding one in April. With their new partnership with St. Clair College, the Saints and their veteran coaching staff expect to have over 100 players again interested in fighting for a roster spot.
The Saints are coming off another wonderful season in 2022, winning the Conference and hosting a game on the national stage. They have some big cleats to fill as they do each and every season, but with the amount of talent in camp, each position should have healthy competition.
Over in the BC Conference, the Valley Huskers and VI Raiders will join the Okanagan Sun in hosting their Spring Camps.
The Huskers have made incredible strides with their franchise in recent years and are expecting a full house at Exhibition Field in Chilliwakc this weekend. Head coach Bob Reist has done an excellent job in recruiting players from the Manitoba area but has also begun to reap the rewards of getting the local minor football pipeline back on track. The Huskers are seeing a lot more local players sticking around Chilliwack and the Fraser Valley to pursue their football opportunities, rather than heading elsewhere and the main reason is the connection to Reist.
The Raiders are an interesting story coming into this season after a dreadful 2022. Former Raider and current Toronto Argonaut Andrew Harris was named the new head coach. The Argos and Harris, however, open the CFL exhibition season this weekend, so it’ll be up to the assistant coaches to run Spring Camp on the Island. The Raiders have a rich history of CJFL success and a large alumni class that remains in Nanaimo or the surrounding area who will lend their knowledge and skills to the new crop of players in attendance this weekend.
Both the Huskers and Raiders open the new CJFL season at home on Saturday July 29th. The Raiders host the Westshore Rebels, and the Huskers entertain the Langley Rams.
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.