Decision Aug. 5 whether BCFC will have a season

BCFC decision in 4 weeks

A decision as to whether there will be a junior football season this year will be made in four weeks.

According to Okanagan Sun general manager Jay Christensen, the BC Football Conference has set Aug. 5 as its new "drop dead date."

"If by Aug. 5 they can't say yes, we're going to go ahead and have a season, then it will be over," said Christensen.

"They've been adjusting the schedule, and the last one we got starts the Sept. 19-20 weekend. It will be a six-game schedule, and the Canadian Bowl will be Dec. 5."

Whether the Sun could play without fans is something Christensen says the club's board is still discussing.

More importantly, he says is the conversation the team would have with its sponsors if a season is deemed possible.

"If the sponsors say as a business we can't afford to sponsor, or if there is nobody in the stands so why would we sponsor...if they are not there, there definitely won't be a season."

Christensen says the team is also exploring different ways to accommodate at least some fans by possibly roping off some sections of the Apple Bowl that would correspond with different entry points into the stadium.

If a season were to begin as scheduled, training camp would likely start at the end of August.


BCFC won't return to play until at least September

Jr. football return delayed

The BC Junior Football Conference has put everything on hold until mid summer at the earliest.

All football activities, including formal, and informal workouts, have been paused until July 1 while the province deals with how to move forward for organized sports in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

BCFC president Tyler McLaren says a decision on a possible resumption of those activities will be made later this month.

Regardless of when it is deemed safe to return to some activities, a full return to play will be determined through recommendations by provincial health organizations.

McLaren says that is complicated by the fact the BCFC is working alongside the CJFL nationally.

"It would be easier if we only had to deal provincially," he said.

"Because we are still linked to the national games and the CJFL games, we have to take into account what is going on across the prairies and Ontario. They are at different stages than we are."

Taking the national picture into account, McLaren says the Canadian Bowl has been pushed back from Nov. 14 to Dec. 5. The location of the national title game, slated originally for Ontario, will be determined at a later date.

That is if the Canadian Bowl is played at all.

"What we have done is basically say there is a chance we won't play national games because of the travel and the cost.

"We have to plan as if we're playing the whole thing, but depending on funding and what happens, we may not have the national games, and just the conference games."

McLaren says the BCFC is working on six, and eight game schedules.

If they get the go ahead, an eight game schedule could begin Sept. 5, a six game schedule two weeks later.

He stresses the league will not start up before the Labour Day weekend, and says playing games without fans will be tough for a league that relies heavily on ticket sales, concession and sponsorship revenues and 50-50 sales.

The league is also working on return to play strategies. Some of those unique plans could include small team training camp workouts which could include offence working one day and defence the next, or even smaller groups where quarterbacks, receivers and defensive backs work out separately to offensive and defensive linemen.

Former Okanagan Sun lineman taken in CFL draft

Ex Sun turns blue (Bomber)

Nicholas Dheilly is one step closer to his dream of playing professional football.

The former Okanagan Sun defensive end is off to Winnipeg, after the Blue Bombers selected him in the fifth round of Thursday's CFL draft.

He was the 46th player selected.

Dheilly, listed at 6'5", 230 pounds, played one season with the Sun, amassing a league-high eight sacks during the 2018 season.

He was named a BCFC all-star.

Prior to joining the Sun, Dheilly played two seasons with the University of Regina Rams.

He was Canada West rookie of the year in 2016, and the team's defensive player of the year in 2017.

Dheilly returned to Saskatchewan, suiting up at the University of Saskatchewan last year.

Okanagan Sun suspend all team-related activities

Sun suspend activities

The Okanagan Sun are the latest sports team to curtail all team-related activities.

The BC Football Conference team has taken the measure for the safety of players, coaches and families as the world deals with the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement Monday evening, the club said in part:

"We fully support our local, provincial and national governing bodies in all efforts to slow down and eliminate the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Complying with recommendations and guidelines allows us to do our part."

It went on to say:

"Local business is an integral part of our community and just as much as we rely on them, they rely on us. Let's all be #OKANAGANSTRONG #OKANAGANCOMMUNITY . During this time of uncertainty, the Okanagan Sun family would like to remind everyone to support local businesses in OUR community.

"Situations like these put not only a personal and emotional strain on individuals and families, but can put a financial stress on everyone.

"We would also like to express our sincere appreciation for doctors, nurses, first responders, volunteers, our community politicians and all of the many others that continue to work to help us through this difficult time, making every effort to protect our safety. Please adhere to all guidelines and recommendations."

Daniel Townsend named offensive all-Canadian

Sun earn offensive all-star

The Okanagan Sun managed to place just one player on the CJFL Offensive All-Canadian squad.

Offensive lineman Daniel Townsend was named an all-Canadian.

The 21-year-old is in his second season with the Sun.

Townsend was one of four BC Football Conference players named an offensive all-Canadian.

He's joined by:

  • Lineman Nikos Lazarakis – Langley Rams
  • Receiver North Rainey – VI Raiders
  • Running back Andrew Pocrnic – Langley Rams

Yesterday, the Sun lineman Cory McCoy and linebacker Tyler Going were named CJFL Defensive All-Canadians.

Major CJFL awards will be announced Friday evening, prior to the 115th Canadian Bowl in Langley between the Rams and Saskatoon Hilltops.

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