Category Archives: Hilltops

Toppers Complete Three-Peat

The Saskatoon Hilltops have won their 19th National Junior Football championship with a 37 to 25 score over the Westshore Rebels on Saturday November 12th on a windy rainy day at Westhills Stadium in Lanford BC a suburb of Victoria on Vancouver Island.

Since the turn of the century this team has won the Canadian Bowl in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2016.

Do the math as that is 10 in 17 years with three 3-peats. Will any other team ever equal this feat and will they even better this phenomenal achievement?

Congratulations to all the players, coaches, supporting staff and directors for an outstanding season in 2016.

ReCapping Canada’s Win At The Worlds

Canada and the U.S. have faced one another in each of the first four U19 World Championship finals.

With a victory in the latest installment, Canada has evened up its U19 World Championship finals record at two wins and two losses. Canada previous captured gold at the 2012 worlds in Austin, Texas to go along with a pair of silver medals from the inaugural 2009 event in Canton, Ohio as well as the 2014 edition in Kuwait.

The latest win also marks outgoing head coach Warren Craney’s final game as head of the program. Craney served as defensive coordinator in 2009 and 2012, before first adding the head coach responsibilities in preparation for the 2014 worlds.

“I’m very proud of these men, they overcame a lot and worked their butts off!” said Craney of this team which faced both Mexico and the U.S., the defending bronze and gold medalist, twice during tournament play. “They executed the game plan to perfection.”

The win is even more impressive considering that early on, Canada looked to be in serious trouble.

Following a failed Vincent Blanchard field goal from the 32-yard line, quarterback Lindell Stone found a wide open U.S. receiver down the sideline, however, linebacker Nick Cross (Regina, SK) had other ideas. He neutralized the threat as he forced and recovered a U.S. fumble at the Canada 24-yard line.

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.”

PFC Heading West in 2016

The Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) will make history in 2016 with two Interconference Games during the regular season.

This will be the first time in the CJFL’s long history that two teams from the BC Football Conference will face a pair of teams from the Prairie Football Conference in a regular season game. On Saturday September 17th the Valley Huskers will host the Winnipeg Rifles at 1:00pm PST at Exhibition Stadium in Chilliwack BC. Then a rematch of the 2015 Canadian Bowl when the defending champion Saskatoon Hilltops face the Okanagan Sun in Kelowna at the historic Apple Bowl at 7:00pm PST.

Both games will count in the 2016 CJFL standings and are considered a regular season game.

“I think it shows there`s a real benefit to be part of the CJFL,” says CJFL Commissioner Jim Pankovich. “The teams in BC and the teams in the Prairies, play each other in their regular seasons, but what if we included some interconference games? What`s the level of competition and is there an opportunity to look at it during the regular season? We wanted to look at some really competitive matches, not just necessarily the first and second place teams but right through the entire depth of each conference. There is a lot of enthusiasm from the member teams. It’s a really interesting concept and a really interesting idea to bring forward because of the excitement and interest in can create. I’m looking forward to both games.”

The Sun have not hosted the Hilltops since the 2000 Canadian Bowl, while the Rifles and Huskers have never played each other.

The C Is Back In CJFL

The Canadian Junior Football League will once again feature the best junior players across the country. That according to a statement released by the league today:

The Canadian Junior Football League is proud to announce the Ontario Football Conference (OFC) will rejoin as full members in 2017.

This season the OFC will play at the Provincial level as all seven teams will compete for the Conference championship.  For the 2017 season, the OFC will return  and compete in the Canadian Bowl Championship Series strengthening the CJFL’s national brand.

“I think it`s important,” says CJFL Commissioner Jim Pankovich.   “We have great partners with the BC Football Conference (BCFC) and Prairie Football Conference (PFC) and not having Ontario for those couple of years I think really took the focus away from the national part of what we were doing.  Having them back really strengthens the brand of football that we are playing and we`re looking forward to them coming back for full playing status.”

For the past two seasons the OFC raised their age limit to allow players aged 23 and 24 to be added to their roster and given full playing status.  The age increase eliminated OFC teams to compete at the national level of the CJFL who gives eligibility to players aged 18-22.  This season the OFC will allow 23 year olds to continue to play, before dropping back within the CJFL rules in 2017.

“The Ontario Football Conference, particularly the players and coaches are very excited to be returning to the CJFL and once again becoming eligible to compete for the Canadian Bowl in 2017,” says OFC President Darren Cocchetto.  “Returning to the CJFL allows the OFC teams to once again be part of a league with national boundaries and competing for something more than a provincial championship.”

The Windsor AKO Fratmen have been the class of the OFC for the past three seasons, winning three straight Conference championships.  They will strive for their fourth straight when the OFC kicks off in July.

Hilltops Tops In the Nation

The Saskatoon Hilltops won their fifth Canadian Bowl in the last five years and 18th overall with a 38-24 win over the Okanagan Sun Saturday afternoon at Saskatoon Minor Football Field.

A late first half blocked punt by Okanagan allowed the Suns to get back into the game but 21 second have points including a late touchdown pass to Evan Turkington was the difference.

In the end Saskatoon racked up 439 yards in offence while quarterback Jared Andreychuk was brilliant completing 18-of-23 passes for 369 yards.


Toppers Tops Again

The Saskatoon Hilltops defended their PFC Championship this afternoon, and, once again, will be representing the conference as they defeated the Calgary Colts 38 – 16 in Saskatoon. The game was close in the first half, but the Hilltops pulled away in the second half.

The Colts set a new PFC record for pass completions in a Conference Championship game with 27 completions, and set a CJFL record with 47 attempts in this type of game. Their Yards Passing was 3rd most in PFC history with 375 yards. They also had the most penalty yards assessed against them in a PFC championship.

Hilltops Hand Out The Hardware

The 2014 Saskatoon Hilltops took one last look back at their 17th National Championship in franchise history, on Thursday night.

The Toppers held their annual golf tournament and Ring Presentation Ceremony at the Dakota Dunes in front of more than a hundred supporters.

The Club bid farewell to their handful of graduating players and honored those who will return in 2015 looking for the repeat.

The 2014 Jostens National Championship rings features the Hilltops Golden ‘H’ surrounded by blue.

One side of the ring is personalized with a name and the player number.

The opposite side features the message: “Perseverance,” and “4-in-5,” symbolic of the team winning national championships four of the last five years.

SMF Field Adds Anonymous Teammate: Still Work To Do

With the clock ticking down, the Friends of the Bowl Foundation are pleased to announce an anonymous donor who is keeping this drive alive.

“We have received a cheque for $900,000,” says Foundation Chair, Bryan Kosteroski. “The donor – a supporter of the Saskatoon Hilltops and of football at all levels – wishes to remain anonymous but we can’t thank them enough for keeping this project on track.” The money will be used to continue work on the Clubhouse.

“Make no mistake,” added Kosteroski, “we still need a further $600,000 to bring this project to completion. We are hoping another donor or donors will step forward and seal the deal.”

Riders Sign Hus: Add Hilltop Turkington


The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today that national long snapper Jorgen Hus has signed with the team. As per club policy, details of the contract were not released.

Hus (6’1 – 230) was originally selected by the Eskimos in the fourth round (31st overall) of the 2013 CFL Draft. Over the last two seasons the Saskatoon native and University of Regina product has spent time with the NFL’s St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs.

The Riders acquired Hus’ CFL playing rights on May 11 along with a third round selection in the 2016 CFL Draft from Edmonton. In exchange the Riders sent national wide receiver Cory Watson and a second round selection in the 2016 CFL Draft to the Eskimos.