Sun ready to turn the page

A new season, a new head coach and some old wounds to lick.

That's what faces the Okanagan Sun as they embark on a new BC Football Conference season, and put behind them an ugly end to 2018.

In what became a personal battle for Langley head coach Howie Zaron, the Rams throttled the Sun 39-7 in the league title game.

Sun head coach Ben Macauley resigned soon after, replaced by former assistant and CFLer Jamie Boreham.

Boreham begins work on what will be the 2019 roster this weekend with the opening of training camp.

"We'll turn the page from that," said Boreham referring to the end of last season. "We'll be a different team than what we were last year. We're going to focus on us, we're going to focus on now, then work to be stronger tomorrow."

The Sun have several holes to fill on both sides of the football, but none more important than at quarterback where oft-injured pivot Jakob Loucks is not returning.

In his place, the Sun looked east for a pair of older players they hope can lead the team this season.

"We've got two veteran guys coming in, one from Toronto, Alex Douglas and another from the Saskatoon Hilltops, Ethan Newman.

"We have a couple of young guys we're looking to groom under them. We're focusing on now, and making sure our future development is strong for years to come."

Boreham says he's looking forward to seeing the battle between Douglas and Newman unfold during camp.

He said neither quarterback has been anointed the starter, stating the best player will be the starter.

That goes for each position on the field.

About 80 players will take part in camp, some of those who will be battling for starting jobs and some younger players brought in to develop into starters down the road.

"We're going to turn over 10 plus kids every year...and the more kids we can carry over from year-to-year, the more consist we'll be, and the better the fundamentals and systems will be."

The Sun will roll with two-a-day practices on the weekend with single evening workouts during the week, in preparation for the season opener Saturday, Aug. 3 at the Apple Bowl against the Kamloops Broncos.

We have so many new people that there's going to be a bit of a learning curve of who's who and what's what...how things are done and the changes we're going to make from the past," said Boreham of camp.

"A lot of it is how can we be the best that we can be and get better at the end of each day."

Sun unveil hall of fame

The Okanagan Sun will begin to honour their long and rich history in junior football in Canada.

The Sun announced Thursday they'll be creating the club's Hall of Fame.

The hall will recognize players, builders, volunteers and significant teams spanning the 38-year history of the team.

"We want to thank and recognize all the players and volunteers who made the Sun organization what it is today," said Sun vice-president Brett Kryskow.

"This event is important for us."

The club also announced the first seven inductees into the new hall.

The first class is headed by Sun founding member Dr. Barry Urness, who passed away after a brief battle with cancer in 2012.

Long-time trainer Terry Britton will be inducted as a volunteer.

Five players will also be inducted, led by former CFLers Chad Folk and Jay Christensen.

Folk, a centre, was taken first overall by Toronto in the 1997 CFL draft. He won Grey Cups in 1999 and 2004.

Christensen spent 10 seasons in the CFL with four teams. He scored 21 touchdowns over that span, winning a Grey Cup in Edmonton in 1993.

Running backs Terrance Huston and Jeff Halvorson, along with defensive lineman Greg Hewko, were also inducted.

Huston, who toiled on the practice roster of the NFL's Miami Dolphins and Oakland Raiders, still holds the team record with 44 career touchdowns.

Halvorson died after collapsing on the field during practice in 2004. He died of an airborne virus that affected his lymph nodes.

The inductees will be honoured at a banquet on June 26 at the Coast Capri Hotel.

Wally Buono, the CFL's all-time leader in wins by a coach, will be the headline speaker.

Click here for tickets.

Sun open season at home

Unlike last season, when the Apple Bowl track was under repair, the Okanagan Sun won't have to wait until midway through the season for their home opener.

The Sun will open the 2019 BC Football Conference season on home turf Saturday, Aug. 3 against the rival Kamloops Broncos.

They'll end it against the Westshore Rebels in Victoria Sunday, Oct. 20.

In between, the Sun will have about as balanced a schedule as is possible.

They will alternate between home and away dates for the entire season.

The Sun will also revert to their former home scheduling, playing Saturday nights in August and Sunday afternoon games following Labour Day.

The entire home schedule is as follows:

  • Saturday, Aug. 3 vs. Kamloops Broncos
  • Saturday, Aug. 17 vs. Westshore Rebels
  • Sunday, Sept. 8 vs. Langley Rams
  • Sunday, Sept. 22 vs. Valley Huskers
  • Sunday, Oct. 6 vs. VI Raiders

All six BCFC teams get a bye on the Labour Day, and Thanksgiving Day long weekends.

Playoffs begin the weekend of Oct. 26 and 27, with the BCFC champion playing host to the national title game.

Last season, the Sun won the BCFC regular season title with a 7-2-1 record, before falling to the Rams in the league championship game.

That marked the final game of Ben Macauley's three year run as head coach.

Jamie Boreham was named the new head coach of the Sun Dec. 27.


Sun name new head coach

The Okanagan Sun have named a new head coach after their coach from the last three seasons called it quits in November.

On Thursday, the Sun announced Jamie Boreham, the team's former assistant coach, will take the reins next season.

As a player, Boreham was a kicker with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, the Saskatchewan Roughriders, and the Toronto Argonauts, winning the Grey Cup with the Riders in 2007.

He's been former coach Ben Macauley's assistant coach for the last two seasons.

“Our players can expect something different,” Boreham said in a press release. “I will do my very best to give each of them a better experience than all the great ones given to me.”

Boreham is currently the athletic director at Vancouver's Notre Dame Regional Secondary School and the coach of the U-16 B.C. provincial football team. 

The Sun won the BC Football Conference season last year, but lost handily in the playoff final to the Langley Rams.

Next season will kick off in August 2019.

Nagy back at Sun helm

The most successful coach in Okanagan Sun history is rejoining the BCFC football club.

Lawrence Nagy, who led the team to its only two national titles in 1988 and 2000, will take over as general manager. He was installed Tuesday, replacing Jay Christensen, who stepped away from the club after many years with the team.

“I am extremely excited to be handing over the general manager duties to Lawrence Nagy," said Christensen. "He not only has the commitment it takes to be successful, but also understands the culture we have that makes this the premier destination for Canadian Junior Football players. For myself, I look forward to taking on some special projects that will see a resurgence of fan excitement at the Apple Bowl.”

Along with his two national championships, Nagy also coached the team to five B.C. titles. He was inducted into the Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame as a builder in 2011.

Nagy says he has some big shoes to fill.

"As the general manager of the Okanagan Sun football team, I look forward to carrying on where Jay has left off," said Nagy.

"We will need to find a new head coach as soon as possible. This process is in place and looks very promising. In the interim, we’ll need to make sure that the whole Okanagan Sun family is secure and informed."

Nagy says the goal remains the same for the franchise – the quest for a Canadian championship.

"I am totally dedicated to this goal," he said.

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