Category Archives: Football

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.

Riders Add A Pair And Welcome Displaced Free Agents

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced international offensive lineman Tre’Von Armstead and international wide receiver Victor Dean Jr. have signed with the team. As per club policy, details of the contracts were not released.

Armstead (6’7 – 311) signs with the Riders after spending the previous four seasons at Baylor University. The 21-year-old Port Arthur, Texas native played 27 career collegiate games. He also spent time at tight-end registering five receptions for 62 yards.

Dean (6’4 – 210) joins the Green and White after playing one season at Portland State, registering 23 receptions for 521 yards and seven touchdowns in 12 games. Prior to that, the 23-year-old California native spent two seasons at Fresno State where he played 16 collegiate games and collected 32 receptions for 404 yards and four touchdowns.

Meanwhile,

Huskie Trades Green And White for REDBLACKS

The University of Saskatchewan Huskies have an all-Canadian hole to fill on their defensive line.

Donovan Dale, who joined the U of S Huskies prior to the 2015 season, signed a contract yesterday with the Canadian Football League’s Ottawa REDBLACKS.

The Grey Cup finalists from the Nations Capital were in need of a National Defensive Tackle after losing veteran Keith Shologan in free-agency to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Ottawa as well as a handful of CFL teams had been watching Dale closely throughout the season.

In 2015 with the Huskies Dale was a menace along the defensive line racking up 30 tackles, 8 sacks, 8.5 tackles for loss, and three forced fumbles in only eight regular season games.

AND just when you thought that the day couldn’t get any better

Riders Welcome New Logo: New RB

The Saskatchewan Roughrider Football Club officially unveiled an updated logo today. The original logo was developed in 1985 and has essentially remained unchanged for over 30 years.

“The timing was right for us to refresh and update our logo as we begin a new jersey partnership with adidas, and prepare to move into new Mosaic Stadium,” noted Riders Vice-President of Business Development and Marketing, Gregg Sauter. “While the changes are subtle, the logo more accurately reflects our official colour scheme with a clean and modern feel, while still maintaining the iconic image.”

There are four main changes made to the logo:
• Inside liner has been eliminated
• Three inside horizontal lines are now straight instead of staggered
• Shortened tail on the ‘S’ which is now equally balanced with the top
• Silver has been replaced with white

Rams Have Their Man

The University of Regina Rams announced Monday morning that Stephen Bryce has been named head coach. Bryce becomes the third head coach in the program’s history at the CIS level.

“Coach Bryce is a strategic thinker, a great leader and communicator, and someone who knows how to get the best out of his student-athletes,” Rams president Dan Johnston said. “All of these factors attracted us to Steve and we believe he will continue to build the football program and is the right person to help us achieve our goals.”

Bryce’s longest coaching stint was at Etiwanda High School in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. where he spent seven seasons as head coach of the Eagles. Taking over a team that had just had a winless season, it didn’t take Bryce long to guide Etiwanda to the top of the Baseline League. The Eagles had 4-1 league records in 2006, 2007, and 2009 and won California Interscholastic Federation playoff games in both 2009 and 2010. Several of Bryce’s former Etiwanda players were on NFL rosters last season, including Christian Barker (New England), Marvin Jones (Cincinnati), J.J. Unga (Baltimore), and Uani Unga (New York Giants).

Rams Bucked By Gibson

The University of Regina Rams announced Sunday afternoon that Mike Gibson has resigned as head coach, effective January 31.

Gibson has accepted a position as the offensive line coach and run game coordinator for the Edmonton Eskimos.

“In his short time with the organization, Coach Gibson had a positive impact on our program in the areas of player recruitment, academic excellence, and strengthening the partnership with the University,” Rams president Dan Johnston said. “We thank Mike for his hard work and wish him and his family the best in the future.”

Gibson returns to the Canadian Football League after one season as the head coach of the Rams. Edmonton will be his sixth CFL stop, as he’s also held positions with Winnipeg, Saskatchewan, Hamilton, Calgary, and Ottawa.

“I’m incredibly disappointed to see Mike go, but this is a wonderful opportunity for him and his family,” said Curtis Atkinson, acting athletics director for the U of R. “I have great respect for the job he’s done here in a short period of time and believe he had a profound impact on our student-athletes and the institution. Mike has an outstanding work ethic, passion for the game, and he does things the right way. He’ll be missed.”

WOW! Rider Make-Over Continues Dressler – Chick Cut

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today international defensive end John Chick and international receiver Weston Dressler have been released by the team.

“Decisions like these are never easy but we felt it was necessary in order for us to move forward and better position ourselves as a football team,” stated Roughriders vice president of football operations, general manager and head coach, Chris Jones. “We spoke with each player and their respective agents at length in an attempt to negotiate more cap friendly contracts but unfortunately could not reach satisfactory agreements.”

Chick spent six seasons with the Riders after originally joining the team in 2007. After winning the CFL’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player in 2009, Chick embarked on a three year NFL career. He returned to the Green and White in 2013 where he spent the next three seasons. Chick ranks fourth in Riders all-time quarterback sacks with 53. He is a two-time Grey Cup champion having won in 2007 and 2013.

Dressler joined the Riders in 2008 and went on to win the CFL’s Most Outstanding Rookie award. Through eight seasons Dressler surpassed the 1,000 yard receiving mark five times. He sits third in Riders all-time receiving yards with 7,797 and fifth in all-time receiving touchdowns with 50. He won his first career Grey Cup in 2013.

Three Huskies Headed South

A trio of University of Saskatchewan Huskie football players will suit up for the under-19 national team in the 2016 International Bowl Series against the U.S. national team.

Payton Hall, Eric Thakurdeen and Ben Whiting will all don the red and white on January 31 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Joining the three Huskie players will be Saskatchewan special teams coach Brian Guebert. Guebert is the special teams coordinator and defensive line coach of the Junior National Team coaching staff that will lead the team in Arlington.

2016 Huskie commit Nathan Cherry

More Moves In Riderville

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have announced national receiver S.J. Haidara, international offensive lineman Jarriel King, national defensive back Kwame Adjei, national offensive lineman Aaron Picton and national running back Brandon Deschamps have all signed with the team. As per club policy, terms of the contracts were not released.

Haidara (6’1 – 215) will return for his fourth CFL season and second with the Riders after joining the team in June, 2015. Last season, the 26-year-old played nine regular season games picking up eight receptions for 58 yards and one special teams tackle.

Haidara has played 43 career regular season games through his first four years after originally being selected by the BC Lions in the 2nd round (12th overall) in the 2013 CFL Draft.

King (6’5 – 315) was acquired by the Riders last week in a trade with the Toronto Argonauts. The 28-year-old South Carolina product played three regular season games for the Argonauts in 2015. Through three seasons with the Argos, King has played 29 regular season games, with 26 starts, spending time at guard and tackle.

Both Haidara and King were eligible to become free agents on February 9th.

Adjei (6’1 – 205) signs with the Riders after playing five collegiate seasons at Mount Allison. The 22-year-old Brampton, ON native picked up 176 total defensive tackles, 6.5 quarterback sacks, and eight interceptions in 40 career regular season games.

Riders Name Coaching Staff

Saskatchewan Roughriders vice president of football operations, general manager and head coach Chris Jones has announced eight additions to the team’s coaching staff.

Joining Chris Jones on the Riders staff will be:

Stephen McAdoo – Offensive coordinator & assistant head coach
Craig Dickenson – Special teams coordinator
Jarious Jackson – Quarterbacks coach & passing game coordinator
Mike Scheper – Offensive line coach
Phillip Lolley – Linebackers coach
Jason Shivers – Defensive backs coach
Ed Philion – Defensive line coach
Craig Davoren – Running backs coach & special teams assistant