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Recent Okanagan Sun News

HEADCHECK Partnership Renewed

By Supplied 06/20/2024, 7:15am PDT

CJFL and HEADCHECK Extend Partnership Ensuring Highest Standard of Concussion Management

The Canadian Junior Football League ('CJFL') and HEADCHECK Health Inc. ('HEADCHECK') are thrilled to announce the extension of their partnership. This collaboration, in place since 2021, has empowered all teams across the CJFL to uphold the highest standards of concussion management, thanks to the robust digital platform provided by HEADCHECK and invaluable insights from aggregate data trends. 

Concussions pose a serious risk, potentially leading to life-altering brain injuries. According to Boston University, over 500,000 concussions affect 3 million youth football players annually. The CJFL and HEADCHECK are working together to eliminate the mismanagement of concussions. Evidence-based protocols are the foundation of concussion safety, when followed.

"The information and data we now have from HEADCHECK is very valuable," said Jim Pankovich, CJFL Commissioner. "With it, we can take proactive steps to improve player safety and measure the results. The results speak for themselves; it's hard to argue that the CJFL isn't a safer league today than before we started working with HEADCHECK." 

"Overall, using HEADCHECK has made it easier for medical staff to provide the best athlete-centered care for concussion management," said Allison Frenette, PFC Executive Player Health Consultant

"The CJFL is dedicated to ensuring the highest standard of concussion management across their league," said Harrison Brown, CEO of HEADCHECK. "Collaborating with league administrators, team medical personnel, and Dr. Czarnota has been instrumental in making the league as safe as possible for the players."

To learn more about how the CJFL has been able to track yearly safety improvements with HEADCHECK, read this recent case study HERE.

CJFL National Signing Day

By Ryan Watters 05/29/2024, 10:30pm PDT

June 1, 2024 players can officially sign with a CJFL team

For some Saturday June 1st is the biggest day of their young lives, as the CJFL presents its 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 they are essentially signing for their 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 they are a good fit for their team.  That said the bulk of the players ready to play in the CJFL will sign on Saturday.

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 2024 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.

Okanagan "Royale"

By Ryan Watters 05/26/2024, 8:00am PDT

Jacob Bond of the Okanagan Sun

Photo courtesy of Shoot The Breeze Photography

The Okanagan Sun defence year after year is one of the best in the BC Conference.  They often hold the opposition offence at bay, rush the passer and cause turnovers.  Lately one of the best on the Sun defensive side has been linebacker Jacob Bond.

His strength is his versatility being able to play multiple positions and play them well.  This allows the defensive coordinator the option to place him in different spots, throwing the offensive blocking schemes off. 

One of his goals this season, outside of winning another national championship is to be a leader on and off the field.  Now in his fourth season, he is taking it upon himself to try and lead a defence that flies around the field.

When he looks back at his first three CJFL seasons, the game that really sticks out is the 2022 Canadian Bowl in Regina that the Sun won.  Bond and the defence bent early, but made adjustments and played a near perfect second half helping them to their first Canadian Bowl title in 22 years.

Despite the bitter cold, Bond and his defensive mates were asked to stop the Thunder offence with time winding down as they drove the ball down the field.  On their final defensive play of the year, Bond made a game ending tackle to force a turnover on downs, securing the national title.  Its the most memorable play in his CJFL career but admittedly, he says the play is all a blur. 

The 2024 season is quickly approaching and Bond is preparing to be a major factor once the Sun open the new season on Saturday July 20 at home when they host the Langley Rams.