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Recent St. Clair Saints News

18 Invited to CFL Combine

By Ryan Watters 02/13/2024, 11:30am PST

The CJFL will be well represented on March 8

A total of 18 players with CJFL experience have been invited to the CFL Invitation Combine on March 8th.  The event will take place on the campus of the University of Waterloo in Ontario.

These top prospects will be put through a series of drills to showcase their skills for the CFL’s general managers, coaches and player personnel.

The hope for these 18 players is to receive an extended invitation to the main CFL Combine slated for March 21-24 taking place in Winnipeg. 

The 18 CJFL invites are:

Ife Adebogun – Edmonton Huskies

Burkely Banilevic – Quinte Skyhawks

Jaiden Claassen – Valley Huskers

Geoff Clubine – London Beefeaters

Ezzat Elnagmi – St. Clair Saints

Richard Graham – Ottawa Sooners

Anthony Grigg – Hamilton Hurricanes

Matthew Hajewich – Regina Thunder 

Dawson Marchant – Langley Rams

Brandyn Martin – Regina Thunder

Nate Norton – St. Clair Saints

Payton O’Connor – Regina Thunder

Isaiah Okoli – Langley Rams

Keewone Parker – St. Clair Saints

Kaine Stevenson – Westshore Rebels

Liam Stewart – Langley Rams

James Stockwood – Okanagan Sun

Daniel Townsend – Okanagan Sun
 

Oh When The Saints...

By Ryan Watters @ryan2tswatters 02/05/2024, 12:30pm PST

The perennial powerhouse in Ontario

Whether you know them as the AKO, the Fratman or the Saints, the Windsor football team has been the perennial powerhouse in the Ontario Conference for several years.  

The St. Clair Saints have currently won 29 straight regular season games not having lost since September 7, 2019 in London.  Their home winning streak is even longer, not losing a home regular season game since August 18, 2018.

They have built their program on a rich winning tradition with a pair or Mikes the heartbeat of the team.  Head Coach Mike LaChance doubles as the team’s offensive coordinator and is the second longest serving head coach in the CJFL, behind only Tom Sargeant of the Saskatoon Hilltops.   Mike Morencie is the team’s General Manager and defensive coordinator and was a major driving force in starting a relationship with St. Clair College in Windsor. 

On the field the Saints have won back-to-back Conference championships and will be looking for a three-peat in 2024.   This upcoming season is particularly important with the Conference winner hosting the Canadian Bowl in November.

The Saints/Fratmen are one of the oldest teams in the CJFL with roots dating back to their first game in 1945. They won their first national crown in 1952 after finishing the season 6-0 and outscoring the opposition 237-26.  They would host the game that season and beat the Edmonton Wildcats 15-12 to claim the title. 

In their 72-year history they have compiled an eye-popping regular season record of 396-151-14 and have won three national championships along with 24 Conference titles.  They are the last team from the Ontario Conference to win the Canadian Bowl, something they will try and duplicate in 2024.  The last two seasons they have come within one win of playing in the national championship game. 

The franchise has been honoured in the CFL Hall of Fame as well.  They became the first CJFL team to be honoured as one of the longest running junior football programs in the country and are featured in the “Museum’s Locker Room” exhibit.  

In 2004, the Windsor Essex County Sports Hall of Fame awarded the franchise with a special award recognition becoming one of only nine area teams to be given this honour.

Twenty years later the Saints are preparing for the new CJFL season and will no doubt be one of the favourites in the Ontario Conference this year.  With the added excitement of the Canadan Bowl hosted in Ontario, the Saints will no doubt be hyper focused.  They last hosted the national championship in 2017 when the Hilltops came to town in a match-up of the two longest serving head coaches in the CJFL, much like last season’s national semi-final in Saskatoon.

The Ontario Conference schedule has yet to be determined for 2024 but when the Saints take to the field in late summer, they will put their 29-game regular season winning streak on the line. That streak maybe important but the Saints have bigger aspirations this upcoming season and that’s to be marching into the Canadian Bowl on November 9, 2024!

 

Welcome Sault College Cougars

By Supplied 11/29/2023, 9:00am PST

The Cougars become the 20th franchise in the CJFL

The CJFL is excited to welcome our 20th franchise to begin play in 2025; the Sault College Cougars who will play in the Ontario Conference. 

Sault College Athletics is thrilled to announce its entry into the CJFL marking a historic moment for the institution and the community of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The newly formed team, the Sault College Cougars, is set to kick off its inaugural season in the summer of 2025, bringing the excitement of college football to the heart of Northern Ontario.

The Sault College Cougars will compete in the Ontario Football Conference (OFC) of the CJFL, where they will face formidable opponents, including the Quinte Skyhawks, GTA Grizzlies, St. Clair Saints, London Beefeaters, Hamilton Hurricanes, and the Ottawa Sooners. The competition is fierce, with the winner of the OFC advancing to the national championship stage for a shot at the Canadian Bowl, battling the top teams from the Prairie and BC Conferences.

Sault College is committed to building a competitive program, and the Cougars will feature a sixty-five-man roster. Student athletes will be eligible from ages 18 to 23. The selection process for the coaching staff and player recruitment is already underway, with Sault College’s Athletic Director Paul Orazietti, former Associate Head Coach at the University of British Columbia, set to lead the program in its initial seasons.

"Our goal at Sault College is to invest in sports programs deeply rooted in the local community, and football certainly fits this bill," stated Paul Orazietti. "Sault Ste. Marie boasts incredible local talent for a community of its size, and our hope at the College is to provide our local high school players with the opportunity to pursue both a post-secondary education and a post-secondary football experience while remaining in their hometown or in Northern Ontario.”

The College envisions football becoming a major cornerstone of campus life, contributing to the vibrancy of student engagement. The sport will also be a primary focus for the new turf field planned at Sault College, creating a dynamic space for both athletes and fans.

"We know football will add a tremendous buzz on campus," added Orazietti.  "Sault College Athletics invites the community to join them in celebrating this momentous occasion as they embark on their journey in the CJFL, shaping the future of college life in Sault Ste. Marie. Go Cougars!"

For more information, to volunteer or for sponsorship opportunities, please contact: Paul Orazietti - Athletic Director, Sault College Email: athletics@saultcollege.ca