Category Archives: CFL

Huskies Burko Signs with Als

The Montreal Alouettes were busy on Thursday signing five draft picks and a pair of Canada West Quarterbacks.

Amongst the signings was University of Saskatchewan Quarterback Drew Burko.

Burko has played four seasons for the University of Saskatchewan Huskies where he completed 572 of his 951 passes good for 7,549 yards while throwing 50 touchdowns passes. He maintained an impressive 251.6 yards per game average and added 215 rushing yards in 30 outings.

The Saskatoon, native led the CIS West conference in touchdown passes in 2014 with 21 and completing over 60% of his throws while being intercepted only eight times. He had the opportunity to play a major role in the 2015 East-Wast Bowl for the East team. He completed 13 of his 16 passes for 180 passing yards and a touchdown en route to a 29-21 win over the West.

The Kinesiology student made training camp stints with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2013 as well as with the Edmonton Eskimos last year. His father Darrell played for the Toronto Argonauts in 1980.

In addition to Burko the Als also inked Canada West pivot Jimmy Underdahl. The four year Dino played 28 games primarily as the back-up to Hec Crighton winner Andrew Buckley. In his limited playing time he recorded 872 passings yards and six touchdown passes.

The Kelowna, native averaged a stunning 70.7 completion percentage over his collegiate career with the Dinos. The young quarterback is the true definition of a double-threat weapon as he registered 413 rushing yards on 76 carries while scoring 16 rushing touchdowns.

Additionally, the Als inked five draft picks:

Dominguez And His Gutfriend Named To The Plaza

The Saskatchewan Roughrider Plaza of Honor Committee has announced two new members will be inducted into the Plaza of Honor as the class of 2016. This year Matt Dominguez and Ivan Gutfriend will have their names forever etched into Saskatchewan Roughrider history.

The Plaza of Honor Dinner presented by SaskTel has inducted 120 individuals who have made major contributions to the proud tradition of the Saskatchewan Roughrider Football Club. The club has also inducted the 1966, 1989 and 2007 Grey Cup championship teams.

The cairn recognizing the Plaza of Honor inductees is situated outside the main gates on the west side of Mosaic Stadium. The Plaza of Honor cairn is sponsored by SaskTel, SASK SPORT INC. and the City of Regina.

The SaskTel Plaza of Honor Dinner is known as Saskatchewan’s most prestigious sports dinner and as a result has contributed over $6 million to the Saskatchewan Roughrider Football Club.

This year’s dinner is set for Friday, September 16th in the Credit Union Eventplex at Evraz Place. Five seasons ago the Dinner was moved to the Eventplex in order to meet the demand for tickets and accommodate a larger audience. The space allows patrons the opportunity comfortably mingle and meet friends and associates throughout the evening.

Riders Add More Vets

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced international defensive lineman Eric Norwood and international wide receivers Clarence Denmark and Alec Lemon have signed with the team. As per club policy, details of the contracts were not released.

Norwood (6’3 – 255) joins the Riders after spending the previous three seasons with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. In 42 regular season games the 27-year-old has collected 123 defensive tackles, 24 quarterback sacks, and nine tackles for loss. He was named an East Division All-Star in 2014.

In ten regular season games last year, Norwood registered 30 defensive tackles, seven quarterback sacks and two fumble recoveries both of which he returned for touchdowns.

Denmark (5’11 – 190) will enter his sixth CFL season after originally signing with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in March, 2011. Through five seasons with the Bombers, the 30-year-old Florida native collected 306 receptions for 4,165 yards and 16 touchdowns in 88 career regular season games. He was named a West Division All-Star in 2014 after registering 1,080 receiving yards.

Last season, Denmark had 57 catches for 718 yards and three touchdowns while starting all 18 regular season games.

Lemon (6’2 – 207) joins the Riders after spending two seasons in the NFL. The 24-year-old originally signed with the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent in April 2013, then later joined the Baltimore Ravens practice squad in December, 2014.

Before going pro, Lemon had a standout four year career at Syracuse University where he became the school’s all-time leader in receptions. In 47 career collegiate games Lemon totaled 2,596 yards and 18 touchdowns on 201 receptions.

The Riders also announced they released the following players:

Huskies Tims Taken In CFL Draft

Emmitt Tims of the University of Saskatchewan is now a member of the Montreal Alouettes.

Tims was the lone Huskie selected in Tuesday’s CFL Draft, he was taken in the 6th round 50th overall by the Als.

Tims, who came to the Huskies as a receiver, stepped into the long snapping role in 2016 and also worked with the defensive lineman. His special teams ability attracted the Alouettes who are seemingly without a long snapper as Jerrod Zalesky, who was handling those responsibilities, is no longer on the team’s roster.

Tims will attend the Alouettes training camp next month.

In total 15 players from the Canada West Conference were selected in the draft with Calgary’s Mercer Timmis being the first name from the west called. The Dinos running back was taken in the second round fourteenth overall by Hamilton.

Here is the list of all players taken from Canada West:

At a glance:

Riders Add Half-A-Dozen Players In Draft


Round 3 – 24th overall DB Elie Bouka Calgary
Round 3 – 26th overall K/P Quinn Van Gylswyk UBC
Round 4 – 35th overall DL David Onyemata Manitoba
Round 5 – 36th overall LB Alex Ogbongbemiga Calgary
Round 6 – 52nd overall OL Alex McKay Manitoba
Round 8 – 62nd overall WR Joshua Stanford Kansas

With the 24th overall selection the Riders took defensive back Elie Bouka from the University of Calgary. In eight conference games last season, the 23 year old picked up 14.5 defensive tackles and one interception for the Dinos.

With the 26th overall selection the Green and White picked kicker Quinn Van Gylswyk from the University of British Columbia. Last season the Victoria, BC native made 24 of 28 field goal attempts and added 56 punts for 2,442 yards on his way to being named a First Team CIS All-Canadian and Canada West All-Star. The 25-year-old was part of the Thunderbirds team that won the 2015 Vanier Cup.

With the 45th overall selection the Riders then picked up defensive lineman David Onyemata from the University of Manitoba. Last season, the 23-year-old picked up his second straight Canada West All-Star nod and first selection as a CIS All-Canadian. He was also invited to participate in the 2016 East-West Shrine game.

With their fifth round pick, 36th overall, the Riders selected linebacker Alex Ogbongbemiga from the University of Calgary. Last season the Calgary native picked up 20 defensive tackles and one sack for the Dinos.

With their pick in the sixth round, 52nd overall the Riders selected offensive lineman Alex McKay out of the University of Manitoba. The Winnipeg native started and played in all eight conference regular season games and one playoff game in 2015. The 25-year-old tackle has played four years at Manitoba and was a 2013 Canada West All-Star.

What I learned about the CFL Draft: Television Broadcast Edition

With one of the biggest days on the Canadian Football League calendar having come and gone. Here is my moment by moment observations from the CFL draft.

First off we get a glimpse of the Saskatchewan Roughrider war-room and a question crops up immediately. Why can’t all of the executives get together in one room? The league has meetings in Vegas so could they not eek out some money to meet at BMO Field, or TCU Place in Saskatoon or Quebec City, or Halifax? You know build the brand?

The Saskatchewan Roughriders select Josiah St. John from the University of Oklahoma. No surprise as the Green and White are wanting a player that can step in immediately and they may have found one.

Montreal is on the clock … The Alouettes select Philippe Gagnon from Laval. Great depth move for a team that goes with an exclusively Canadian offensive line.

BC is up next. Interesting to see Geroy Simon sitting next to Wally Buono at the draft table. Further proof that time heals all wounds I suppose. During the break BC trades down to allow Hamilton to trade up.

Riders Confirm They Are Moving North

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today the details of the 2016 Coors Light Training Camp Event Series in Saskatoon. The new-look Riders, led by General Manager and Head Coach, Chris Jones, will open training camp at Griffiths Stadium in Saskatoon beginning May 29th.

The Riders have teamed up with local community partners to host a series of events across the city that will bring the team and fans of all ages together with an assortment of music, entertainment, activities, and of course, football.

“This is a special year for Rider Nation and we wanted to do something above and beyond for our fans here in Saskatoon” said Gregg Sauter, Riders Vice President of Business Development and Marketing. “This is our final year in the current Mosaic Stadium, the place we have called home for many decades. We also have an energized new coaching staff led by Chris Jones and an incredibly talented group of players who are competing for spots on the team. We’d like to give them a warm Saskatchewan welcome and we want to create some special events for our great fan base here in Saskatoon and northern Saskatchewan. “
Three events will take place in Saskatoon from May 27 to June 12:

O’Brian’s Event Centre, Featuring One Bad Son

Coors Light and Cruz FM will present the Official Roughrider Kickoff Party on Friday, May 27th at 8:00pm. The evening will include a night of incredible live music and entertainment with featured guests One Bad Son, and also some special appearances by Rider players. Join us for the best party in town as we kick off the season and three weeks of training camp in Saskatoon.

Ticket availability will be limited so purchase your $20 tickets today:

Riders Add Another Eskimo

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have acquired the CFL playing rights to international offensive lineman Thaddeus Coleman from the Edmonton Eskimos.

In exchange, the Riders have sent two players from the team’s negotiation list to the Eskimos.

Coleman (6’8 – 320 lbs) with be entering his fourth CFL season after originally signing with Edmonton in June, 2013. Through his first three seasons the 30-year-old product of Mississippi Valley State has started all 21 games played spending time at right and left tackle.

He won his first career Grey Cup last season as a member of the Eskimos.

Friends Of The Bowl Moving To Phase 4

Friends of the Bowl Foundation provided an update on the redevelopment of Gordie Howe Sports Complex. Two phases have been completed at Saskatoon Minor Football Field including new turf, lights, sound system, score clock and construction of a 24,000 square foot Clubhouse.

Phase 3 is well underway with the creation of a welcome plaza to the Gordie Howe Sports Centre. Today’s announcements include a $250,000 donation from Richardson completing the Phase 1 and 2 campaigns.

The Friends of the Bowl Foundation are also pleased to announce that SMF Field will benefit from the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ Grey Cup Legacy Project. The Grey Cup Legacy Project was introduced in 2012 in preparation for hosting the 2013 Grey Cup. 7,000 temporary seats as well as corporate boxes were added to the end zones at
Mosaic Stadium. The plan was to donate these seats to amateur sports programs when the new stadium was ready.
4,900 seats and 6 boxes will be donated to the Friends of the Bowl Foundation to enhance the experience for fans at SMF Field and create a facility that is able to host a wide variety of sporting events for years to come. The Saskatchewan Roughriders have also announced that they have acquired office space in the Gordie Howe Sports

“We are extremely proud to be a part of this outstanding sports facility.” Said Craig Reynolds, President and CEO of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. “We are thrilled to be welcomed here at the Gordie Howe Sports Complex and we look forward to playing an even greater role with the thousands of young athletes and children who are engaged in
sports here every year.”

Former Huskie Big Ben Calls It A Career

Former University of Saskatchewan Huskie and former first overall CFL draft pick Ben Heenan announced his retirement this afternoon.

The six-foot-four, 316-pound offensive lineman was selected first overall in the 2012 and made the announcement via his agent, Dan Vertlieb.

Heenan, who is 26, left the Riders following the 2014 season and signed with the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts. However, after sustaining a knee injury in training camp he was released by the club before being brought back on the team’s practice roster last November.

Heenan, who is from Grand Coulee, played three years with the Green and White and was the starting right tackle on the Riders’ Grey Cup-winning squad in 2013. In total he would start 46 regular-season games with Saskatchewan before signing with the Colts.