The Okanagan Sun football club is proud to announce Ben Macauley as the 16th head coach in franchise history.
Macauley is coming off an outstanding season as the head coach of the KSS Owls. His club finished 4-2 in the BC High School Football’s Eastern Conference, scoring 156 points and allowing just 69. Overall the Owls had a 9-3 record. In the high school post season they beat #1 Argyle 27-7 in the first round of the playoffs before bowing out in the quarterfinals to the eventual champions.
He is no stranger to the Sun program, joining the broadcast team for the 2010 season before assisting with the coaching staff for two seasons (2012-2013) working primarily with the offensive line.
A former tight-end Macauley was recruited by the USC Trojans, playing a season with their junior college program at Glendale College in California. However multiple shoulder injuries ended his playing career.
“I’m excited work with a local, community run team,” says Macauley. “I have enjoyed my time getting to know everyone in the organization over the time I’ve been here (in Kelowna). This organization is a strong and proud one and I’m honoured to be given the opportunity to take them to the next level.”
“We are very excited to have Ben Macauley as our Head Coach,” says team President Bill Long. “He was on our radar right from the outset, and we actually interviewed him five years ago for a previous opening. We could see the potential then, but he just needed some more experience. He is exactly the type of person we want as a Head Coach; knowledgeable about the game, a man of integrity and character, and has the same vision of where we need to go not only as a team, but the entire organization.”
“We received 12 applications in two days, and never posted the position being available,” continues Long. “We were very impressed by the quality of candidates we received from all across Canada and even from an NCAA coach. It’s a testament to how coveted it is to coach in the Okanagan, and we were very flattered by that.”
Macauley says his top priority will be to contact all of the players eligible to return for the 2016 season. He will also take part in winter workouts at the CNC on Sundays, then sit down with the coaching staff and fill in the vacant spots.
He is also a family man with his beautiful wife Erika and young son Glen.
He talks with Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)
Photo courtesy of Greystoke Photography
In the last four seasons at the Apple Bowl there has been a resurgence in the Sun running game. One of the main reasons for the resurgence has been Dillon Fortune.
In 2013 and 2014 Fortune along with Alex Bradley gave defences fits as a very dangerous 1-2 punch. In 2015 Fortune and Kory Nagata picked up right were a graduating Bradley left off. Fortune rushed 67 times in 2015 for 448 yards and five touchdowns.
However now it’s Fortune’s time to graduate. After four seasons and 236 carries for 1,603 yards and 14 touchdowns, he is taking his talents east…far east and will play CIS ball at the University of Acadia, joining a very success Axeman program.
Fortune will report to Nova Scotia this summer in preparation for his first season in the CIS.
The Okanagan Sun will hold their Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Saturday February 13, 2016 from 10:00am - 11:00am at the Coast Capri Hotel.
The President and Board of Directors will be on hand along with the General Manager and support staff.
Fans are welcome to attend to view the AGM.
Following the AGM the newly elected Board of Directors will have their first closed door meeting.
Coast Capri Hotel
1171 Harvey Avenue
Photo courtesy of Greystoke Photography
The Okanagan Sun and head coach Shane Beatty have mutually agreed to part ways, officially ending his three year stint in Kelowna.
Beatty led the Sun to their first BCFC championship in 11 seasons in 2015 following an undefeated regular season. The team’s lone loss was in the national championship Canadian Bowl in Saskatoon.
In his three seasons leading the Sun on the field, the club amassed a 27-3 regular season record and were 30-6 overall. He was named the Canadian Junior Football League Coach of the Year following the 2015 regular season.
“We thank Shane for bringing a tremendous competitive nature and a great passion for the game to the Sun,” said Sun President Bill Long. “He and his staff restored a winning culture that has been the standard for our franchise throughout our history.”
“Being a head coach of a Junior Football team is demanding and time consuming position. Discussions after the season made it apparent that perhaps it was time for Shane to explore some other opportunities. We wish Shane all the best, and we know he will continue to be successful.”
“I would like to thank the entire Okanagan Sun family for this great opportunity with no regrets,” said Beatty. “I will cherish the three years I spent here, winning Coach of the Year twice and working with an outstanding group of young men. I would like to thank all of the players over the last three years, I’m honoured to have coached you. I would also like to thank my coaching staff and lastly Pastor Gary Swabey and Eric Pardy for their time and commitment to the players.”
The Sun have already begun the search for their 16th head coach in franchise history. Spring Camp is set to open in May and the season in July.
Photos courtesy of Greystoke Photography
Story courtesy of the University of Regina
University of Regina Rams head coach Mike Gibson announced Wednesday that Okanagan Sun products Cord Delinte and Thomas Huber have both signed a CIS Letter of Intent and will join the program for the 2016 season.
Both Delinte and Huber were named Canadian Junior Football League All-Canadians this year as they helped lead the Sun to a British Columbia Football Conference championship and an appearance in the Canadian Bowl.
"Cord and Thomas are coming from what's simply a great program over in Kelowna," Gibson said. "Coach Beatty has a strong background and he runs his team in a first-class manner. It's no mistake they made it all the way to the Canadian Bowl, and we couldn't be happier to add two players that are coming from a winning mentality."
Delinte played with the Sun for three seasons after graduating from Livingstone School in Lundbreck, Alta. and playing football with the Pincher Creek Mustangs. One of the Sun's starters at halfback, Delinte had 26 tackles and five pass deflections while helping Okanagan to a perfect 10-0 record in BCFC play. He had a pair of interceptions in the team's three playoff games, including an 86-yard pick six against Kamloops in the league semifinals.
"Cord is an extremely physical player and while he was excellent at halfback for the Sun, we'll be looking at him at free safety," Gibson said. "He's an extremely smart player and his football knowledge and range will help mitigate mistakes. Cord is a take-charge guy with great leadership skills, he's a good athlete, and if he gets an opportunity he's going to hit you. He'll make an immediate impact for us on the defensive side of the ball."
Huber not only was named an All-Canadian at kicker but was also an impact receiver for the Sun, finishing the season with 28 catches for 424 yards and three touchdowns including the team's three playoff games. He also was 20-for-27 on field goals and successfully converted 75 of 76 point-after attempts. Huber was with the Sun for four seasons after attending Handsworth Secondary in North Vancouver.
"Thomas is a multi-talented athlete and really fills two needs for us," Gibson said. "He's got a strong leg and does all the little things you want from a kicker. But the real exciting thing about Thomas is that he's a great receiver. He was a focal point of their offence in terms of trying to get him the ball, and that was evident at the Canadian Bowl. He's another guy that is going to be able to step right into the lineup for us in 2016."
Delinte will have four seasons of CIS eligibility, while Huber will have two. Their additions bring the team's 2016 recruiting class up to three members, as they'll join local offensive lineman Bowen Pisula who signed with the Rams back in September and recently won his fourth consecutive 4A provincial championship with LeBoldus.
Photo courtesy of Louis Christ
It was a Canadian Bowl like none other.
Here are "five takeaways" from the Sun radio network broadcast booth with Ryan Watters:
1) Saved his best for last: Quarterback Cam Bedore has had some very good games in the last four years, none better than the Canadian Bowl. With the run game struggling, Bedore was asked the throw, and throw he did …. 43 times as a matter of fact. He was very accurate and seemed very calm and cool in the pocket. When the Hilltops applied pressure Bedore was able to use his feet to either buy some more time or run. He led the Sun with 11 carries for 85 yards and I’m sure some of those Hilltops DB’s are still feeling sore after trying to stop Bedore. In his final junior game, Bedore was simply awesome.
2) “H” is for HUGE: Layne HULL and Keagan HUGHES delivered some Huge plays in the championship. Hughes led the club with 8 tackles and 8 assists, collecting a game high 26 defensive points. Hull was named the Defensive Player of the Game for good reason. He blocked a punt with four seconds left in the first half and ran it back 30 yards for touchdown. He also made the only interception of the game on a beauty at mid-field, and added two tackles and three assists. Both players are eligible to return in 2016.
3) Apple Bowl needs some love: SMF Field in Saskatoon is one of the best junior football facilities in the country. Just renovated last year, the Apple Bowl could take some pointers from this facility with the field turf, gorgeous scoreboard, spacious visitor dressing rooms, outstanding broadcast facilities (I was able to stand without smashing my head on the cement beam) and crisp sound system. The Apple Bowl is a beautiful facility but is starting to show its age, a few upgrades would put it on the same level as SMF and with any luck the Canadian Bowl will be hosted at the Apple Bowl in 2016!
4) A rematch is required: It was one of the best and evenly matched Canadian Bowls in recent memory. I talked with a number of CJFL people following the game and everyone wants to see Round 2 between these two teams. Obviously the Sun would love to have a handful of plays back, but so do the Hilltops. From a fan’s standpoint you could not ask for anything better….the game was extremely entertaining and the weather was perfect (10 and sunny). The offences combined for 917 yards and the defences made some bone crushing hits. I’m sure the other 10 CJFL teams will have something to say about a rematch, but it would be fun to watch the Sun and Hilltops battle again.
5) The end of the season sucks: Not only is football over for another year, but the Sun will graduate some unbelievable people from this historic program. I’ve been fortunate to get to know some of these long serving veterans and it won’t be the same without them wearing the orange and brown in 2016. In particular Kyle Patchell, Josh Troman, Brennan Van Nistelrooy, Thomas Huber and Cam Bedore who have been here since 2011 or 2012 are always willing for a quick chat and some insight. Cliff Crews, Shai Ross and Kyle Kawamoto who made this team better and I would have loved to see them here for more than a year or two. Dillon Fortune and Wes Geisler, who preferred to let their on field performance and talents do the talking. Cole Lindsay, Paytin Chang and Cole Brydges have been absolute professionals. From way up in the broadcast booth I salute you players and don’t be strangers to this program!
Thank you fans for tuning in each week across the Sun Broadcast Network and planning for 2016 is already well underway.
The season came to a close in Saskatoon on Saturday after a 38-24 loss in the 108th Canadian Bowl.
The game was one of the most exciting games in Canadian Bowl history, as the Sun took a 20-17 lead into halftime but couldn’t keep up the pace, scoring just four points in the second half.
Quarterback Cam Bedore was excellent finishing 23 of 43 for 350 yards and threw a touchdown. Kyle Kawamoto hauled in eight passes for 159 yards and Kyle Patchell caught nine passes for 110 yards and a 17 yard touchdown strike. Bedore also used his feet to keep drives alive with 11 rushes for 85 yards.
Defensively the Sun were led by Keagan Hughes and his game high eight tackles and eight assists. Layne Hull was named the Larry Wruck Defensive Player of the Game, after making two tackles, three assists, blocked a punt, recovering it for a 30 yard touchdown and intercepted a pass. Lucas Machado had the lone sack.
It was an outstanding season for this team and these players should be proud, winning their first Cullen Cup in 11 seasons.
The 2016 Canadian Bowl is back in BC and the Sun will look to get back and host this title game for the first time since 2000.
For broadcast links to the 2015 Canadian Bowl, click HERE
It’s the oldest Canadian football championship. On the second Saturday in November each of the CJFL teams hope they are the ones hoisting junior football’s Holy Grail.
The Canadian Bowl has seen some unbelievable moments and displays of true determination.
In 2015 the National Championship game will be held in Saskatoon Saskatchewan at the SMF Field.
The Hilltops are making their fifth trip to the national final in the last six year, while the Sun are back for the first time since 2004.
A quick glance at the 108th Canadian Bowl:
Okanagan Sun (1) @ Saskatoon Hilltops (2) - Saturday November 7 @ 11:00am
Comparison in 2015
Record – Sun 10-0 – Hilltops 7-1 .... Playoffs – Sun – 2-0 – Hilltops 2-0
Points For – Sun 488 – Hilltops 301 ... Playoffs – Sun 129 – Hilltops 87
Points Allowed – Sun 108 – Hilltops 137 .... Playoffs – Sun 7 – Hilltops 37
Passing Leaders – Cam Bedore – 85 of 127 for 1501 yards, 21 touchdowns and 3 interceptions (Sun) - Jared Andreychuk – 108 of 168 for 1577 yards, 18 touchdowns and 7 interceptions (Hilltops)
Playoff Passing Leaders – Cam Bedore – 30 of 45 for 575 yards, 6 touchdowns and 1 interception (Sun) – Jared Andreychuk – 22 of 38 for 425 yards, 4 touchdowns and 1 interception (Hilltops)
Rushing Leaders – Dillon Fortune – 67 carries for 448 yards and 5 touchdowns (Sun) – Logan Fischer – 94 carries for 794 yards and 5 touchdowns (Hilltops)
Playoff Rushing Leaders – Kory Nagata – 16 carries for 147 yards and 2 touchdowns (Sun) – Logan Fischer – 42 carries for 300 yards and 6 touchdowns (Hilltops)
Receiving Leaders – Kyle Kawamoto – 41 receptions for 1005 yards and 10 touchdowns (Sun) – Chad Braun – 31 receptions, 349 yards and 3 touchdowns (Hilltops)
Playoff Receiving Leaders – Kyle Patchell – 15 receptions for 245 yards and 4 touchdowns (Sun) –Chad Braun – 7 receptions for 133 yards (Hilltops)
Field Goals – Thomas Huber – 15 of 20, 75% (Sun) – Brett Thorarinsson – 11 of 14, 78% (Hilltops)
Playoff Field Goals – Thomas Huber – 4 of 5, 80% (Sun) – Brett Thorarinsson – 1 of 3, 33% (Hilltops)
Leading Tacklers – Keagan Hughes – 26 tackles (Sun) – Cameron Schnitzler – 22 tackles (Hilltops)
Playoff Tacklers – Layne Hull – 12 tackles (Sun) – Cole Benkic – 11 tackles (Hilltops)
Photo courtesy of Greystoke Photography
The Canadian Junior Football League announced its Major Award Winners on Friday night at the Jostens Banquet of Champions and for the second straight year Shane Beatty has been named the Gord Currie CJFL Coach of the Year. The Sun were 10-0 during the regular season and a perfect 2-0 in the playoffs outscoring the opposition 129-7. Beatty led the Sun to the first BCFC title in 11 seasons and a berth in the Canadian Bowl.
The other awards were presented as follows:
Rookie of the Year
Tony Savchuk – Edmonton Wildcats – 29 tackles, 4 assists, 1 sack, 2 knockdowns, 1 forced fumble, 5 interceptions
Peter Dalla Riva Outstanding Offensive Player
Derek Yachison –Kamloops Broncos – 73 catches, 1026 yards and 14 touchdowns
Larry Wruck Outstanding Defensive Player
Cole Benkic – Saskatoon Hilltops – 19 tackles, 13 assists, 0.5 sacks, 3 knockdowns, 2 fumble recoveries, three interceptions, one for a touchdown
CJFL Past Commissioners Award
Brandon Quach – Edmonton Wildcats
CJFL Stewart MacDonald Executive of the Year
Jim Pankovich – CJFL Commissioner
CJFL Life Member
CJFL Ed Henick Meritorious Service Award
Bob Bula – Edmonton Huskies
The 2015 Canadian Bowl will kick-off Saturday November 7, 2015 at 1:00pm at SMF Field in Saskatoon, SK.
Watch the pay-per-view online at www.cjfl.org.
Listen to Ryan Watters on AM 1150 in Kelowna
Photo courtesy of Greystoke Photography
For the first time since 2004 the Sun find themselves back in the Prairies for the national championship game. They will face the Saskatoon Hilltops on Saturday at 11:00am.
Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters) talks with Head Coach Shane Beatty about the 2015 Canadian Bowl.
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