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Dexter Janke Heads To CFL Combine

03/27/2015, 3:45pm PDT
By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)

The Edmonton native makes Sun history

Photo courtesy of Greystoke Photography

Dexter Janke becomes the first Okanagan Sun player to be invited to the CFL Combine which goes this weekend in Toronto.

After a terrific Regional Combine in Edmonton, Janke was one of four players to hear their name and be invited to the Ontario capital.

Janke’s results are below:

Bench – 20
40-Yard – 4.56
Vertical – 35.50”
Broad – 9’11”
3-Cone – 7.13
Shuttle – 4.2

Following his day, TSN’s Duane Ford spoke with Janke, who was proudly wearing his Okanagan Sun colours! WATCH HERE

Good luck in Toronto Dexter!

2015 Schedule Released

03/25/2015, 5:00pm PDT
By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)

Kick Off 2015 is set for July 25

Photo  courtesy of Greystoke Photography

The Okanagan Sun will open the 2015 season on Saturday July 25 at the Apple Bowl against the visiting Westshore Rebels, as the British Columbia Football Conference has released the official schedule.

The Sun will play a 10 game balanced schedule for the first time since 2011.  The last three seasons the schedule has been unbalanced.

Head Coach Shane Beatty says, “I love the balanced schedule! I truly believe the league will be much better this year. Victoria will be much better with JC 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! Going against two gurus in JC and Doug ... Great guys!”

The Sun will get their first crack at the defending BCFC champion Langley Rams on Saturday August 15 at the Apple Bowl.

As in years past the first three Sun home games will be played on a Saturday night, under the lights with kick off at 7:00pm against the Rebels, Rams and Huskers.

Following the Labour Day bye, the remaining two Sun home games will be Sunday afternoons at 1:00pm (Sept 13 and 20) against the Raiders and Broncos.

The final two regular season games, the Sun find themselves on the road in Westshore and Kamloops on September 26th and October 3rd.
The last time the BCFC played a balanced schedule (2011) the Sun finished the regular season 8-2.

Season tickets are on sale now for the 2015 season, click HERE for more details.

The Sun will open Spring Camp May 29-31, 2015

Two Members Named Finalists

03/17/2015, 9:45pm PDT
By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)

Yochim and Sanderson nominated for City award

Photo courtesy of Greystoke Photography

The Okanagan Sun will be well represented at the 40th City of Kelowna Civic Awards this year with two members being named finalists.

After a recording setting season Robbie Yochim’s (pictured) accomplishments continue to garner the RSS grad accolades as he’s been named a finalist for the Top Male Athlete of the Year award.

Yochim’s accomplishments have been well documented as he prepares to attend McMaster University in the fall and play for the Marauders.

Former Sun board member Todd Sanderson has been named a finalist for Man of the Year.

The awards recognize volunteers, artists, athletes and business leaders through 12 categories and 17 awards. The recipients will be revealed April 30 at a gala ceremony at Kelowna Community Theatre.

“We are pleased with the exceptional nominations received in each of the award categories for this milestone year,” said Louise Roberts, the city's community and neighbourhood services manager.

“The awards highlight our residents, businesses and organizations that have made a significant contribution to making our city a better place to live.”

Good luck to Robbie and Todd!

Sun Spots: Jeremy Bell

03/12/2015, 2:00pm PDT
By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)

This Bell will be ringing in Edmonton in 2015

Jeremy Bell played for the Sun from 2005-2009 returning kicks and playing a solid defensive back position.

Following his time with the Sun, Bell played for the University of Alberta Golden Bears where again he excelled.

While attending the University of Alberta Bell began taking steps to become a strength and conditioning coach and now he’s back in junior football as a member of the Edmonton Wildcats coaching staff.  Bell is not only the Wildcats’ strength and conditioning coach but also the defensive backs coach for the 2015 season.

Wildcats head coach Darcy Park says “one of the biggest off-season additions is the hiring of Jeremy Bell as the team’s strength and conditioning coach.”

Does Bell think playing with the Sun helped him land the position with the Wildcats?

“Playing with the Sun and just football in general taught me many things such as work ethic, team work how to work with different personalities. But I would have to say the single greatest thing playing for the Sun taught me excellence, excellence in life, in school, in relationships in every aspect of life. Do not settle for mediocre or just good enough, prepare like a champion, work like a champion and good things will come out of it.”

Bell says he will not only help the Wildcats with their strength, but help them prevent injury as well;

“Our strength and conditioning program it is very comprehensive, no stone has been left unturned in regards to preparing our players to maximize their athletic potential. Strength and conditioning is my absolute passion and I have spent countless hours building a program that I feel will give my athletes a competitive edge over any program in the country. My philosophy as a strength coach is centered around building strong athletes of course but our number one focus is injury prevention, a player is no good to his coaches and teammates if he isn’t on the field to express his athletic ability so while being able to deadlift 500 pounds may look good on paper, if you are hurt all the time and not on the field you are no good to your team, so again my philosophy is to build athletes that are resistant to injury as well as strong and explosive.”

Over the course of four seasons with the Sun, Bell became very familiar with the franchise and now is looking for similarities with the Wildcats;

“I would say the Cats organization has some similarities in regards to their championship pedigree but I don’t think the mystique is quite the same as you have with the Okanagan Sun. The Sun is a focal point in the community and it’s a special privilege to play for the organization. Now I’m not saying it isn’t a privilege to play for the Cats but its prestige is a little different due to the sport climate in a large market such as Edmonton. In Edmonton you have a number of professional sports franchises to compete with as well as another junior team the Edmonton Huskies and of course the University of Alberta Golden Bears whom I played defensive back for and was also the assistant defensive backs coach in 2012.”

What about teammates, does Bell see and similarities between his teammates with the Sun and the players he’s met on the Wildcats roster?

“As for right now I haven’t really spent enough time around the guys to really make that judgment. There is one player by the name of Cockburn who is an offensive lineman and he kind of reminds me of Travis Miller, super out spoken kind of gets a hard time from the guys but they all love him.”

One of the most difficult aspects for a player becoming a coach for the first time, is letting go of his playing days.  Wanting to jump into the play or lead by example on the field can be hard to get over. Bell has been able to transition nicely, but if age wasn’t a factor could he suit up for the Wildcats if they needed him in the secondary?

“I could most definitely suit up right now, I’m actually a much more prepared athlete now than I was during my days with the sun. My pursuit of strength and conditioning has allowed me to really maximize my own abilities physically, something I wish I could have done more of while playing with the Sun. I recently got a hat trick of interceptions in my last touch league game! So I think it’s safe to say Coach Bell still has it!”

So with the Canadian Bowl held in the PFC champion in 2015, is Bell hoping for a Sun vs. Wildcat national championship?

“As far as a Wildcats vs Sun Canadian Bowl it’s an intriguing thought but not something that is even on my radar at this point. We have a tremendous amount of work to do to prepare ourselves for the season so at this point I won’t be making any kind of predictions, we will let our work and preparation speak for itself and let the chips fall where they may.”

The Sun and Wildcats have only met each other once.  In 1983 the Wildcats snuck past the Sun 29-28 to win the Inter-Conference championship, before beating Ottawa in the Armadale Cup (now the Canadian Bowl) 30-11.

The Sun will open their 34th Spring Camp on May 29th.

Seven Players Invited To Lions E-Camp

03/04/2015, 2:45pm PST
By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)

BC Lions Spring Evaluation Camp is set for May 3-4

Photo courtesy of Greystoke Photography

For the fourth consecutive year the BC Lions have opened their doors to the British Columbia Football Conference.  15 BCFC players have received invitations to the Lions Spring Evaluation Camp, taking place May 3-4 and there are more invitations expected to be sent out.

According to the Lions there are a number of reasons why these players were selected to show off their talents.  Seven of the 15 players were members of the Okanagan Sun in 2014.

The story book ending for Robbie Yochim’s junior football career continues to be written, as he has been invited for the second straight year.  Joining Yochim for the second time will be Jonas Gering, Michele Vecchio, Brennan Van Nistelrooy and Matt McConnell.

The two Sun players making their first appearance at Lions Evaluation Camp will be Dexter Janke and Cliff Crews (pictured).

The Camp will take place over the course of two days at the Lions training facility in Surrey.

Good luck guys!

Here is the complete list of players from the BCFC that have been invited:

Michele Vecchio – Okanagan Sun
Brennan Van Nistelrooy – Okanagan Sun
Cliff Crews – Okanagan Sun
Dexter Janke – Okanagan Sun
Robbie Yochim – Okanagan Sun
Jonas Gering – Okanagan Sun
Matt McConnell – Okanagan Sun

John Beckerleg – Langley Rams
Anthony Daley – Langley Rams
Nathan Lund – Langley Rams
Malcolm Williams – Langley Rams
Tyron Ledingham – Valley Huskers
Devin Csincsa – Kamloops Broncos
Derek Yachison – Kamloops Broncos
Marshall Cook – VI Raiders

New Sun President Is No Stranger

02/23/2015, 11:15am PST
By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)

Former player, coach and broadcaster Bill Long is back

During the recent Sun Annual General Meeting, the team elected a new board of directors along with a new President.

Former player, coach and broadcaster Bill Long was re-elected President for his second term after two successful seasons in 2010 and 2011 8-2.  During those two seasons the Sun had an overall record of 17 -3 and saw growth in attendance.

Bill was part of the original roster of the Sun in 1981 and is a wealth of knowledge begin around the team in a number of different roles for a long time.  His most recent role with the team was the club’s treasurer.

Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters) talked with Bill following the AGM who begins his two year term immediately.

Spring Camp 2015

02/16/2015, 12:45pm PST
By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)

The Sun will hold their 34th Spring Camp May 29-31

Photo  courtesy of Tamiko Lyle

The Okanagan Sun will play in their 34th season in 2015 and again expectations are very high coming off a terrific season last year.

Veterans, new recruits and rookies will be on display for the first time at Spring Camp May 29-31.  The club will hold three major practices then allow the offensive players to face the defensive unit in a scrimmage on the 31st.

The club has announced the itinerary for this season’s Spring Camp.  Click HERE to view.

"The Great Gillespie"

02/05/2015, 2:45pm PST
By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)

Long time Head Therapist honoured

Photo courtesy of Greystoke Photography

Sun head therapist Roy Gillespie was honoured on Wednesday night for his unbelievable contribution to the local sports community. 

Roy was named a Community Volunteer/Sport Hero for his commitment to local sports and 20+ years with the Sun.

Roy graduated with his Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy degree from Dalhousie University and went on to work as a physiotherapist in Australia and Nova Scotia before settling in British Columbia in 1993. 

Since then, he has earned his Masters of Physical Therapy, has become certified in traditional Chinese acupuncture and Intramuscular Stimulation (I.M.S.) acupuncture and has become a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  He uses these skills daily, working full time at the Pinnacle Physiotherapy Clinic while pursuing his Doctorate of Science in Physical Therapy. 

Roy is not only the volunteer head therapist of the Sun, but he also works with several National and Provincial team programs; supports the University varsity teams and athletes and provides services to local sport

organizations as well as numerous high level and professional athletes.  
As a community sport science resource, Roy is always willing to share his insight and experience at sport education workshops and lectures; provide volunteer physiotherapy support at sporting events; and, develop injury rehabilitation and exercise programs for athletes at all levels.  Success in Roy’s mind is helping an injured person return to their active lifestyle and he’s willing to do what it takes to get them there!

Congratulations Roy and thank for all that you do!

Another Day, Another Invite

01/30/2015, 4:15pm PST
By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)

Devon Kozar has been invited to a CFL Regional Combine

Photo  courtesy of Greystoke Photography

The invitations sent to former Sun players continue to roll in.  Former Offensive lineman, Devon Kozar will join Dexter Janke in Edmonton at the CFL Regional Combine.

Kozar becomes the fourth member of the Sun family to be invited to a CFL Regional Combine, showing the talent that CFL clubs are watching in junior football.

Kozar helped the Sun to one of Canada’s best running attacks in 2013 securing the left tackle side of the line.

He spent the last two seasons of his junior career on the offensive line, after coming over from the defensive side.

Here is an excerpt from the letter Kozar received:

"Dear Devon,

The Canadian Football League is inviting select Draft eligible players and the top 5th year CIS and CJFL players to attend an exclusive Regional Combine in their part of the country.

Due to an interest from our CFL teams, you have been selected to attend the Regional Combine in Edmonton on Monday March 23, 2015."

Kozar and Janke will attend the CFL Regional Combine in Edmonton, while Jack Rush and Brandon Donkers will be attending the CFL Regional Combine in Toronto on March 26, 2015.

Good luck Devon!

Janke Invited To CFL Regional Combine

01/29/2015, 11:30pm PST
By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)

Dexter Janke is off to Edmonton

Photo courtesy of Greystoke Photography

Thursday showed more proof that junior football is paving a path for players to the CFL.

Sun safety Dexter Janke received an invitation to attend the CFL’s Regional Combine in Edmonton presented by Reebok on Monday March 23, 2015.

During the 2014 regular season, Janke recorded 14 tackles, five assisted tackles, a knockdown, had a fumble recovery and intercepted three passes during his lone season with the Sun.

“Dexter Janke is a young man who not only is a great ball player with a tremendous upside, but he is a phenomenal human being,” said head coach Shane Beatty.  In my 23 years of coaching, I haven’t had many like him.  He’s a 5’11, 215 pound safety who is fearless and can run.  He never missed a practice, was always early to watch film and if he didn’t know something he would call me all night until he figured it out.  It’s been a privilege to coach this young man, I can’t wait to see him in the CFL.”

While at the Regional Combine Janke will take part in the following drills:

8:30am – Begin circuit – height & weight, hand, arm measurements, video shot, vertical jump, broad jump, bench press.
10:30am – 40’s, short shuffle, 3 cone drill
1:00pm – Positional drills and one on one’s
2:45pm – Special teams drills
3:15pm - Announcement of players invited to the CFL Combine in Toronto

Here is a copy of Janke’s invitation letter:

"Dear Dexter,

The Canadian Football League is inviting select Draft eligible players and the top 5th year CIS and CJFL players to attend an exclusive Regional Combine in their part of the country.

Due to an interest from our CFL teams, you have been selected to attend the Regional Combine in Edmonton on Monday March 23, 2015."

Janke joins a long list of Sun players that have been given an opportunity to play football in the CFL.  The Edmonton native is hoping a little home cookin’ will help send him to Toronto.

Good luck Dexter!

  • Rookie Class Of 2014

  • 01/16/2015, 11:00am PST, By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)
  • No less than 10 true rookies made an impact this past season
  • Read More
  • Happy Holidays

  • 12/22/2014, 6:00pm PST, By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)
  • What are some of their favourite presents
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  • Graduating King

  • 11/01/2014, 11:30pm PDT, By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)
  • Landon King played five years with the Sun and now grads
  • Read More

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Former Sun Highlighted at East-West Bowl

04/15/2015, 2:45pm PDT, By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)

Drew Digout will play for Team West

ScotiaBank Donates $10,000 to Scholarship Fund

04/10/2015, 10:30am PDT, By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)

It's the fifth straight year the ScotiaBank Group has made a donation

Dexter Janke Heads To CFL Combine

03/27/2015, 3:45pm PDT, By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)

The Edmonton native makes Sun history

2015 Schedule Released

03/25/2015, 5:00pm PDT, By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)

Kick Off 2015 is set for July 25

Two Members Named Finalists

03/17/2015, 9:45pm PDT, By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)

Yochim and Sanderson nominated for City award

Sun Spots: Jeremy Bell

03/12/2015, 2:00pm PDT, By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)

This Bell will be ringing in Edmonton in 2015

Seven Players Invited To Lions E-Camp

03/04/2015, 2:45pm PST, By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)

BC Lions Spring Evaluation Camp is set for May 3-4

New Sun President Is No Stranger

02/23/2015, 11:15am PST, By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)

Former player, coach and broadcaster Bill Long is back

Spring Camp 2015

02/16/2015, 12:45pm PST, By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)

The Sun will hold their 34th Spring Camp May 29-31

"The Great Gillespie"

02/05/2015, 2:45pm PST, By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)

Long time Head Therapist honoured

Page 1 of 50

Displaying Results 1 - 10 of 491