Thursday, July 30th15.7°C
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BC Football Conference News

Sun crush Rebels in opener

Coach Shane Beatty couldn’t have drawn it up any better as the Okanagan Sun blasted the Westshore Rebels on Saturday night 78-7.

The Sun scored 40 points in the first quarter alone on route to their first win of the season. Wes Geisler opened the scoring with a three year pick six early in the first quarter.

Cam Bedore’s first completion of the season was a 56-yard touchdown bomb to Kyle Kawamoto then, five minutes later, Kory Nagata took a pitch from Bedore and ran 20 yards to paydirt.

Later in the first quarter, Brennan Van Nistlerooy blocked a punt, sending it back into the endzone where Raquille Cespedes jumped on it for his first touchdown of the season.

In the third, Nagata had the play of the night when he bounced off tacklers on his way to a 54 yard touchdown, his second of the night.

The Sun (1-0) will prepare to face the Valley Huskers next Saturday in Chilliwack at 7 p.m.



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Sun aim high at camp

Okanagan Sun training camp preview

The Okanagan Sun are setting their sights high as they open training camp this weekend.

The club is looking for its first B.C. Football Conference title since 2004.

Several dozen recruits and veterans are expected to attend the main camp, which opens with a players meeting at 9 a.m. Saturday. Players will then test and practice at the Apple Bowl until 1 p.m.

Practice will resume Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Shane Beatty, entering his third season as head coach, expects competition to be fierce at each position.

No less than 10 players will be fighting for starting assignments on the defensive line, including returners Jonas Gering and Lucas Machado. All 10 players are at least six-foot-three and 240 pounds.

Beatty believes there are a number of players on the defensive side of the ball who have CFL potential. 

“Our DBs are loaded. You look at Matt McConnell, Beck Fullerton, Brennan Van Nistelrooy and Jamie Turek – I mean that’s a lot of competition," said Beatty.

There are four highly touted running backs in camp and a number of talented receivers. 

“We recruited 34 kids and signed 33 of them, so if you look at those numbers, it’s pretty impressive ... we feel really good about our nucleus."

The Sun topped the BCFC regular season standings with a 9-1 record, but fell at home to the Langley Rams in the title game.

Following main camp, final cuts will take place, then the club will practise five and six days a week, preparing for its home opener on July 25, when the Sun host the Westshore Rebels at 7 p.m. at the Apple Bowl.



Sun to shine at spring camp

A sure sign football season is right around the corner – the Okanagan Sun open their annual spring camp this weekend.

More than 100 players are expected in town for the two-day camp on the field adjacent to the Apple Bowl.

Camp runs Saturday and Sunday, culminating with an intersquad game Sunday at noon at the Apple Bowl.

A number of key holes will have to be filled this season, following the graduation of Zac Ironstand, Dexter Janke, Alex Bradley, Landon King, Ron Mwamba and team MVP Robbie Yochim.

"With 53 kids coming back, we're trying to find another 30 kids to join the program and hopefully lead us to that 2015 championship," said head coach Shane Beatty.

He believes there will be competitive battles at all positions, but is most interested in seeing the defensive line and how it shakes out. 

Returns Jonas Gering and Lucas Machado have the inside edge after an extensive off-season training routine, but coach Beatty and staff have a number of talented players coming in from across Western Canada.

He is also excited about the talent at both defensive back and receiver.

As usual, a large contingent of players from Winnipeg will be in town this weekend, mixed with players from Alberta, Saskatchewan, the Lower Mainland, Northern B.C. and locals.

Players will register today before taking part in meetings Saturday morning.

Monday is National Signing Day, meaning teams can begin signing players. Beatty said he hopes to hold a few players in town to sign commitment papers.

The Sun open the 2015 season at home on Saturday July 25 against the Westshore Rebels.



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Former Sun taken in draft

Former Okanagan Sun defensive back Dexter Janke will begin his professional football career in Alberta.

Janke, who played last season as a 22-year-old rookie, was taken with the last pick of the fifth round, 44th overall by the Calgary Stampeders in Tuesday's CFL draft.

The Edmonton native intercepted three passes and recovered a fumble last season while amassing 14 tackles.

He also returned 11 punts for 91 yards and nine kickoffs for 296 yards.

Prior to joining the Sun Janke spent a year at the University of Saskatchewan as a running back.

He suffered an ACL tear in his left knee in Saskatchewan, the injury he suffered twice previously in high school.

He transitioned to the defensive backfield with the Sun.

Janke will head to Calgary for the start of rookie camp May 29.



BCFC: Back to balance

The BC Football Conference will return to a balanced schedule in 2015.

It's the first time the league has featured a balanced schedule since it went to a three-year tiered system following the 2011 season.

For the past three seasons the top three teams played each other three times while the bottom three did the same. It was an effort to try and create a competitive balance and eliminate some of the mismatch blowouts the league is sometimes known for.

The new schedule means each team will play the other five teams in the league twice, once at home and once on the road.

The Okanagan Sun will open the 2015 regular season at home on Saturday, July 25 against the Westshore Rebels.

They will close out the season on the road in Kamloops Oct. 3.

Unlike other seasons when the Sun have had long stretches both at home and on the road, the 2015 schedule has a more favourable breakdown of home and away games.

“I love the balanced schedule! I truly believe the league will be much better this year," said Sun head coach Shane Beatty.

"Victoria will be much better with JC (Boice) as the head coach and Doug Hocking as the defensive coordinator. Kamloops will be much better with Brad Yamaoka and the addition of Todd Graham. I'm stoked to get going and I look forward to opening with Victoria."

The Sun's 2015 schedule breaks down as follows: 

  • Saturday July 25 vs. Westshore Rebels - 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 1 @ Valley Huskers - 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 8 @ Vancouver Island Raiders - 4 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 15 vs Langley Rams - 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 22 vs Valley Huskers - 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 29 @ Langley Rams - 7 p.m.
  • (Labour Day Bye)
  • Sunday, Sept. 13 vs. Vancouver Island Raiders - 1 p.m.
  • Sunday, Sept. 20 vs. Kamloops Broncos - 1 p.m.
  • Saturday, Sept. 26 @ Westshore Rebels - 3 p.m.
  • Saturday, Oct. 3 @ Kamloops Broncos - 7 p.m.

The Sun finished atop the BCFC standings in 2014 with a 9-1 record.

They beat the Vancouver Island Raiders in the semi-final before falling 23-19 in the championship game to BC champion Langley Rams.

Click here for information on 2015 season tickets.

The Sun will hold spring camp May 29th to 31st.



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