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!
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: email@example.com
The CJFL is proud to announce the Week 13 Players of the Week following any exciting playoff weekend.
Offensive Players of the Week
RB Geoff Clubine – London Beefeaters
Overshadowing his all-conference teammate for the second straight week, Geoff Clubine put on a show in the Beefeaters' failed bid to upset the Saints in the OFC Final. Clubine tore through the Saints defence rushing for 123 yards on 14 carries and scored two touchdowns. He also hauled in one pass and outran the defence on his way to his third touchdown of the night.
RB Boston Davidsen – Saskatoon Hilltops
Thanks to another outstanding running attack the Hilltops are Prairie Conference champions. Running back Boston Davidsen was terrific in their win over Regina rushing 21 times for 161 yards scoring a pair of touchdowns.
QB Te Jessie – Westshore Rebels
The best quarterback of the CJFL this regular season carried his impressive play over to the playoffs in the Westshore Rebels semi-final victory. Te Jessie completed 21 of 26 passes for 240 yards and threw a pair of touchdowns. He scored a third touchdown with his legs on four carries, gaining 24 yards.
Defensive Players of the Week
LB Ben Regier – London Beefeaters
In a hard-hitting affair, Ben Regier delivered blows all over the field particularly in the Saints backfield. Regier racked up eight tackles, five of which were solo and one tackle for loss. He also contributed 1.5 sacks and recovered a fumble in the second half that ultimately led to a Beefeaters touchdown.
LB Matt Wist – Saskatoon Hilltops
Another outstanding game for the All-Star linebacker as the Hilltops defence held the Thunder down in the Prairie Conference title game. He collected nine tackles and had 8.5 assisted tackles.
DB Tariq Brown – Okanagan Sun
The defending Canadian Bowl champions opened the BC Conference playoffs with a solid semi-final victory on their homefield. On the defence Tariq Brown in the secondary was an important piece trying to slowdown the Valley Huskers passing attack. He had a 32-yard pick-six to complement his five tackles.
Special Teams Players of the Week
PK Preston Knight – St. Clair Saints
While only hitting one of his two field goal attempts in addition to his four converts, Knight really made his difference in the kicking game. He successfully recovered his own short kickoff in the second half and then, with the teams exchanging scores in a video game like second half, Knight sacrificed his body to make a touchdown saving tackle along the sideline.
DB Tristan Bergquist – Regina Thunder
The Thunder special teams did a great job holding the Hilltops return game to minimal yards and Tristan Bergquist helped big time with three solo special teams tackles and kept containment.
PK Giovanni Linuzzi – Westshore Rebels
The Westshore Rebels advanced to the BC Conference Cullen Cup title game and the kicking game of Giovanni Linuzzi played an important role. He knocked through all four of his field goal attempts, with the longest of 41-yards. He was also a perfect 4-4 in converts an executed five kick-offs.