With the first game of the regular season less than a week away, the Okanagan Sun have made another big signing.
Big, as in 6’7” and 330 pound offensive lineman Tyson Pencer, who played the last two seasons with the Washington State Cougars of the NCAA Pac10 Conference.
Pencer is a native of Delta and a graduate of Sands Secondary.
Okanagan Sun GM Howie Zaron, who focused on making the offensive line bigger and better in 2011, went hard after Pencer once he learned he was not planning on returning to school this fall, and is excited about having the CFL draft-eligible player in Sun colors.
Zaron says the presence of Pencer will “make all the Sun players two feet taller.”
“He’s a big man, very athletic, very agile. He’s very powerful and he has a mean streak on the field, which is something you want from a lineman.
“He will bring some real veteran leadership to our o-line. You think about it, as good as it looks now talent wise, Charles Wilson is the only guy there with a lot of experience at this level. Drew (Digout) is our best offensive lineman and he is a year out of high school. What Tyson is going to be able to do for a guy like Drew, and all the guys around him, I’m excited to see.”
Pencer had been considering staying at home to play junior football this season after being away the last three seasons, but credits Zaron for convincing him the Okanagan is where he should spend his final season of amateur football.
“I have been talking to Howie the last week about the program and where it’s headed and where he wants it to be. I’m excited to be coming to a program that has a serious goal of winning and it sounds like a good atmosphere up there so I’m looking forward to it. That was a big positive for me.
“I remember going there (to Kelowna) as a kid. It’s obviously a nice spot, so I am looking forward to that part of it, too. No doubt about that.”
Pencer says he hopes to be in Kelowna in the next couple days in anticipation of suiting up in the season opener in Kamloops Sunday night.
“I’m just figuring out my travel situation, but I would like to be there in the next few days and get a couple practices under my belt to be able to play this weekend. But if things don’t turn out the way I want them to right now then early next week. But I am pretty sure I will be up there in the next day or two.”
The Sun kicks off the 2011 season this Sunday in Kamloops at 5 p.m.
The home opener is Saturday night, August 6, against the Langley Rams. Okanagan Sun season tickets are available online until July 28.