The final CJFL Spring Camp hits the field this weekend out on Vancouver Island when the Westshore Rebels put their players to the test. The Rebels are the only team to hold spring camp following National Signing Day which took place last Thursday.
This is the first spring camp run by new head coach Dexter Janke, but he’s certainly no stranger to the Rebels after being their defensive coordinator last season. Janke has incredible football knowledge winning a Grey Cup with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, spending two seasons with the Calgary Stampeders, playing in U Sports and even suiting up in the CJFL for the 2014 Okanagan Sun.
The Rebels finished 7-3 last season and were one win away from the Cullen Cup championship title. Expectations are high once again on the Island with several important pieces returning.
Their season opens on July 29th in an afternoon affair against their Island rivals the VI Raiders in Nanaimo, before their home opener the following Saturday when the Kamloops Broncos come to town.
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.