2020 CJFL Season Cancelled

OFC Will Not Operate This Season Due To Covid-19

The Canadian Junior Football League has determined that it is not feasible to operate a regular season or playoffs for the 2020 season. Our focus and attention will now be on our return to play plan for the 2021 season.

“It is very disappointing to make this announcement today, but our priority is the health and safety of our players, coaches, staff, and team administrators”, stated CJFL Commissioner Jim Pankovich.

Since the beginning of this pandemic, the CJFL has followed all public health guidelines and will continue to support them in the future. Unfortunately, at this stage, return to play guidelines do not allow for large enough gatherings to make training and competition safe for our athletes.  Despite our hope that the situation in Canada would improve and allow for the CJFL to proceed with the 2020 season, the health and safety challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing risk to our players, coaches and staffs make it unfeasible for the CJFL teams to compete in 2020.

“Our teams play an important role in their communities. All CJFL teams will continue to engage with their players and communities as regional public health regulations allow.”  continued Pankovich.

We look forward to returning to competition in 2021.

Beefeaters Recent Success Helps Land Strong Recruits For Title Defence

By Ryan Pyette
London Free Press

The London Beefeaters added 18 recruits — some from across Canada and others city high school powerhouses — to an already solid cast of returning players after the Canadian Junior Football League’s signing window opened this week.

The defending Ontario Football Conference champs expect at least 100 hopefuls to battle for roster spots if and when provincial rules requiring physical distancing and banning large gatherings are eased enough to allow training camps this summer.

“We expect to go in with four quarterbacks, four kickers, 12 offensive linemen,” Beefs coach Jesse Maddox said, “and those are good problems to have.”

The London squad even pulled from south of the border, with six-foot-two, 260-pound defensive lineman Jordan Fletcher and quarterback Devon Smith, who both played NCAA Division III ball at Western Connecticut State.

Local talent includes former South Lion Tyler Thompson, a six-foot-one, 210-pound linebacker with University of Guelph ties, and six-foot-one Western receiver Jack Bukich, who played high school ball at St. Thomas Parkside.

The OFC regular season usually starts in August, but emergency orders could delay kickoff until the fall. A traditional eight-game schedule is planned, but could be altered if necessary.

CJFL National Signing Day 2020

Players Begin Their CJFL Career On June 1

By Ryan Watters

For some Monday June 1st is the biggest day of their young lives, as the CJFL presents its National Signing Day.

The day is earmarked every year on June 1st, the day in which players can finally sign with a CJFL club. When a player signs he is essentially signing for his entire junior football career as the player then becomes the property of that team.

So many considerations are made before signing with a CJFL club; location, team support, roster depth, coaching staff, scholarship program, etc all weighs in on a player’s decision.

National Signing Day is not only exciting for the players, but the coaches as well. Their ideas, hopes and hard work will finally come to fruition as they start to fill their roster spots.

Following National Signing Day coaches can continue to recruit and sign a player immediately if he’s a good fit for their team.  That said the bulk of the players ready to play in the CJFL will sign on June 1st.

Once players sign on the dotted line, coaches can begin developing their schemes and systems around their potential starters.  They can also begin preparing for their Main Camp along with Week 1 of the regular season, still to be determined as restrictions from COVID-19 begin to lift.

All three Conferences and 17 CJFL teams will participate on June 1st, signing players to their 2020 roster.

Fans can keep up to date with CJFL National Signing Day on social media with #CJFLSigningDay as teams will be posting once a player signs.

Saints Student Athletic Association Purchase Fratmen Football

By Saints Sports Department

Saints Student Athletic Association Inc. made it official Friday morning announcing the purchase of the Fratmen Football organization at a Press Conference held at St. Clair College’s SportsPlex.

“The Saints Student Athletic Association is happy to make this announcement as we are always looking to expand our athletic portfolio.  We think this is a great opportunity to offer football enthusiasm to the student body on campus,” stated SAA President Kshitij Punj who addressed staff and media gathered at the SportsPlex.  Punj continued, “The SAA board and I are looking forward to the challenge of being directly involved with the operations of this team and are indeed excited about it.”

This innovative partnership between the Fratmen Football franchise and the Saints Student Athletic Association Incorporated will be the first of its kind in Ontario.  As of this announcement the Student Athletic Association Inc. will assume ownership of the Fratmen Football team taking responsibility for the business and game day operations of the program.

Beginning with the 2020 season the team will play and practice at the soon to be completed St. Clair College Sports Park.  Construction of the 20-million-dollar complex is set to be finalized in mid-summer with the facility featuring a full artificial turf playing surface that is fully lit for evening play, 1,500-seat capacity stadium seating including a media press box along with a jumbo interactive score board.

The Saints Student Athletic Association Inc. is thrilled to be partnered with the storied history and success of the Fratmen brand who are the longest running amateur sport organization in Canada which began in 1929 and has won 3 National Titles during that span.  The Fratmen were also the first Canadian Junior Football League team to be honoured in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and have been featured in the Museum’s locker room exhibit.

The team will continue to play in the Ontario Football Conference which is part of the Canadian Junior Football League with a fall season stretching from August to November.  The current Fratmen coaching staff will remain intact with recruitment already in full swing for next season.  Head Coach Mike Lachance will announce his coaching staff in the coming weeks assisted further by Joe Cleroux who will be retained to assist with league matters and compliance.

Rostered players on the football team who are enrolled full-time in the fall semester at St. Clair College will continue to enjoy a $1,250.00 scholarship with access to several other bursaries and financial aid opportunities.  However, student status at St. Clair College is not required for access to the playing roster.  Rick Cranker along with St. Clair Athletic Coordinator Ted Beale will serve as education liaisons for current and prospective football team members.

For information about the St. Clair Fratmen use the contacts below.

Head Coach & Offensive Coordinator – Mike LaChance
fratmenfootball@hotmail.com  (519) 562-5399

Defensive Coordinator – Mike Morencie
mmertz27@gmail.com  (519) 817-6378

Athletic Coordinator & St. Clair College Admissions Assistance – Ted Beale
tbeale@stclaircollege.ca (519) 563-8012

St Clair College Announces The Groundbreaking Of New Sports Park

Facility To Be Future Home Of Windsor Fratmen

Students, staff and the community gathered today to witness the ground breaking ceremony for the new St Clair College Sports Park, This exciting project will provide students and the community with state-of-the-art facilities for soccer/football, softball, beach volleyball courts and indoor tennis courts.

The multi-year project will see the complete rejuvenation of the College’s current outdoor sports facilities at the south end of the campus.

The Sports Park will boast 1,500 seat soccer/football field complete with artificial turf, digital score board and press box, a 400 seat softball diamond with artificial field, team rooms and scoreboard, concession stands and four lighted beach volleyball courts with a lounge. Indoor tennis courts will be developed in the later part of the project.

The project will be overseen by the Student Representative Council (SRC) and the Student Athletic Association. Support from the community has been unparalleled thanks to the generous sponsorship from the Barry and Stephanie Zekelman Foundation and Michael Schlater, CEO of Dominos Canada. In addition the College also is grateful to the WFCU Credit Union, Fortis Group, Architecturra Inc., the City of Windsor and Town of Tecumseh for their continued support

For more information please check out the following links.










London Beefeaters Take It On Chin In Loss To Saskatoon

London Beefeaters 1 Saskatoon Hilltops 51

By Paul Vanderhoeven

The London Beefeaters were hammered with an ice-cold blast of reality in a 51-1 pounding by the powerhouse Saskatoon Hilltops in the Canadian Junior Football League semifinal Saturday night at TD Stadium.

Bailey Taylor picked off Beefeaters quarterback Jake Pow on London’s first possession and Rylan Kleiter kicked a 22-yard field goal to give Saskatoon a 3-0 lead and the five-time defending national champions went on to score on their next five possessions to build up 34-1 lead going into half time.

Saskatoon quarterback Tyler Herman threw three touchdowns in the first half — a 75-yard and  a 52-yard catch and run by Connor Graham and a 20-yard TD pass to Keegan Dicks. Ben Abrook also ran in a four-yard touchdown under wet and frosty conditions at TD Stadium.

The Beefeaters defeated the defending Ontario Football Conference champion Hamilton Hurricanes in the OFC semifinals and the Windsor AKO Fratmen in the final.

Both of those playoff wins came on the road and first-year coach Jesse Maddox said the Beefs punched and bullied the Fratmen in their 28-20 Ontario championship win in Windsor. But the Beefs were the team taking the blows Saturday against the Toppers.

“We got a reality check today,” Maddox said. “Last week (against Windsor) we were the physical team and this week we weren’t. . .  . Ultimately I’m proud of my guys, I’m proud of my coaching staff, but there’s lots more work to do.”

Maddox said his young team has much to be proud of in winning an Ontario championship for the first time in seven years, but the Beefs fell two wins short of their ultimate goal of national title.

The Beefs boasted one of the best defences in the country going into Saturday night’s national semifinal, giving up just 87 points in eight regular season games, but they couldn’t do much to stop the Hilltops, who will be gunning for their sixth straight national championship when they play the Langley Rams on Nov. 16 in British Columbia for the Canada Bowl.

The Hilltops have won eight of the past nine CJFL championships. The 1999 AKO Fratmen are the last Ontario team to claim a national championship. The Beefs lost 51-7 to the Hilltops in their last CJFL semifinal appearance in 2012 in Saskatoon.

Sargeant said he was impressed with the Beefeaters aggression and physicality in the opening minutes of Saturday’s game, but the early interception, put them on their heels and the Hilltops seized the momentum with a barrage of devastating deep passes.

“They did a pretty good job being physical on the line of scrimmage but we loosened them up by making some big plays over top and we had a good mix after that, but our defence was lights out tonight,” Sargeant said.

“Coach Maddox and his staff are doing a good job. They are a good football team, but we’ve been in these games a lot. As long as they stay together and play together, they are a team on the rise. We have 15 fifth-year players so that’s a lot of experience and a lot of savvy that’s been through the wars quite a bit.”

Leo Centeno scored London’s only point on a rouge after going wide on a 30-yard field goal attempt.

Beefeaters Buck Their Historical Trend And Earn Saskatoon Showdown

London Beefeaters 28 Windsor Fratmen 20

By Ryan Pyette
London Free Press

Much of the Beefeaters’ recent history has been a broken record of third-place finishes and season-ending losses to Hamilton or Windsor.
Not anymore.

London still finished third again, but earned its first Ontario Football Conference title in seven years thanks to big road wins over, first, the defending champion Hurricanes, and then against the Fratmen on their home field in the provincial championship game Sunday night.

“We punched them in the face and bullied them in every aspect of the game,” first-year Beefs coach Jesse Maddox said. “We ran the ball down their throats and took what was there. This was a championship approach of all gas, pound the ball and take some shots (down the field).” Neither of these defining victories can be considered upsets.

On the opening play in Windsor, London turned over the ball on an interception and and the Fratmen quickly scored.

The Beefeaters shrugged it off, recovering for a 28-20 victory that would’ve been even more lopsided if not for a couple of rare dropped punts.

“We could’ve folded (after that bad start),” Maddox said. “If you have never won a big game, you don’t know how to win. But we went right down after that and punched in a touchdown. We had already knocked off Hamilton and the players believe in the process.

“It’s taken some time, but we’re gelling at the right point of the season.”

The Beefs are never out of games because they boast one of the top defences in the country. It was supposed to be a rebuilding part of the roster this year, but the new starters stepped up ahead of schedule.

“Our D has been our backbone,” Maddox said. “We gave up 87 points in eight (regular-season) games and that was No. 1 in Ontario and right up there in the country. Our front seven and the guys on the back end are doing their jobs and holding us in games.” Now, they move on to the greatest test.

The Beefeaters will face the famed Saskatoon Hilltops in the Canadian Junior Football League semifinal round Saturday evening at TD Stadium. The unbeaten Hilltops roll in having won eight of the past nine national titles.

“They lose very seldom and when they do, it’s rarely in a championship game,” Maddox said. “Coach Sarge (Tom Sargeant) is the winningest coach in CJFL history and he’s the Bill Belichick of this league. They play hard-nosed football. They don’t make mistakes, don’t talk and just do their jobs.
“They have a $300,000 budget, their own field and locker room and it’s the closest thing to a (USports) program.”

Only one Ontario team in the past 20 years – Windsor in 1999 – has won a national championship. When the Beefs advanced to the semifinal round in 2012, they lost to Hilltops 51-7 at the Gordie Howe Bowl in Saskatoon.

“It’s an opportunity to see the big boys first-hand and see how you respond to it,” Maddox said. “The odds are not in our favour, but anyone watching what we do and looking at the film will know we have a pretty good squad here and are dynamic in all three phases of the game.

The Beefeaters will face the famed Saskatoon Hilltops in the Canadian Junior Football League semifinal round Saturday evening at TD Stadium. The unbeaten Hilltops roll in having won eight of the past nine national titles.

“They lose very seldom and when they do, it’s rarely in a championship game,” Maddox said. “Coach Sarge (Tom Sargeant) is the winningest coach in CJFL history and he’s the Bill Belichick of this league. They play hard-nosed football. They don’t make mistakes, don’t talk and just do their jobs.

“They have a $300,000 budget, their own field and locker room and it’s the closest thing to a (USports) program.”

Only one Ontario team in the past 20 years – Windsor in 1999 – has won a national championship. When the Beefs advanced to the semifinal round in 2012, they lost to Hilltops 51-7 at the Gordie Howe Bowl in Saskatoon.

“It’s an opportunity to see the big boys first-hand and see how you respond to it,” Maddox said. “The odds are not in our favour, but anyone watching what we do and looking at the film will know we have a pretty good squad here and are dynamic in all three phases of the game.

“We have to make sure we make tackles this week and eliminate mistakes.”

Getting to this point was an achievement in itself. But the way the Beefs have handled themselves suggests they are not satisfied just yet.

“You’re like a salesman,” Maddox said. “At the start of the year, you’re telling kids (what it takes) and most roll their eyes when they meet you. But when you get out there and achieve your goals, it’s just a great feeling. I had kids come over and say this is the first championship they have ever won at any level and they appreciate everything it took. The kindness and gratitude in those words that goes with winning something and becoming a family.

“The players have work and some have kids or maybe some financial (concerns), but this is one thing that keeps them motivated and brings them together.”

And if they plan to get to the mountain top of junior football, they must start with the Hilltops.



Beefeaters Win Physical War To Win OFC Championship

London Beefeaters 28 Windsor Fratmen 20

by Jim Parker
Windsor Star

This was not the ending the Windsor Fratmen had envisioned and it’s one that won’t easily be forgotten.

Miscues and squandered chances dashed the top-seeded Fratmen’s hopes for an Ontario Football Conference title as the London Beefeater handed Windsor its first home loss of the season with a 28-20 win in Sunday’s final at Alumni Field.

“Frustration levels are high right now, but you just have to use it as motivation for next year,” Fratmen receiver Cody Holmes said. “It fuels me. I’m watching these guys celebrate on my field and I’m not taking it too well, but, next year, they’ve got to see me.”

The third-seeded Beefeaters upset Hamilton in the semis to advance to the final and came ready to play on Sunday after splitting two regular-season games with AKO.

“We worked really hard for this and prepared a lot,” said Beefeaters running back Danny Byrne, who is a L’Essor high school grad now at school in London. “It feels good to have it all pay off.”

Windsor’s talent flashed on occasion in the game, but the Fratmen simply weren’t consistent enough in all three phases against the Beefeaters.

“In order to win against a good football team like the Fratmen, you have to play good in all three phases,” said Byrne who is an Essex Ravens product.

“It’s really a team game and you have to play good in all three phases. We were just trying to be physical. We were trying to win the line of scrimmage. Win the point of attack.

“It’s the third time we’ve played them, we’ve gathered our information on them. We knew we had to be physical. They’re a physical football team and we had to be physical on offence and we executed well and it turned out well for us.”

In the end, it’s that battle to for physical supremacy that Fratmen head coach Mike LaChance said cost his team.

“They were more physical than we were and we talked about that all week being the more physical team,” LaChance said. “(In the final), we weren’t. They outphysicaled us at the point of attack, both offensively and defensively, and, quite frankly, on special teams, too. Generally speaking, in championship games, that’s who’s going to win is the team that’s more physical and they did a better job of it.”

But LaChance, who is in his 16th season with the club, wasn’t about to pin the loss on his players.

“We’ve lost a few championship games, but I’ve never lost one where I thought we had the better team and I think we had the better team today, which means it’s on me,” LaChance said. “We got outcoached.

“You can’t look at an 18-year-old and say he made a mistake or a young quarterback’s throw was a mistake. At this level, it comes down to coaching and I didn’t have our team prepared. It’s not just on the kids. We have a 50-man roster and a 12-man coaching staff and it’s on everyone.”

After Holmes opened the scoring, the Beefeaters responded with three-straight touchdowns. A Michael Ryan touchdown had the Fratmen to within 21-13 at the half.

Jared Hayes-Williams’ touchdown catch got the Fratmen to within eight points midway through the final quarter, but miscues proved costly down the stretch.

“We had over 400 yards offence,” LaChance said. “I think we moved the ball pretty cleanly. We still had chances to win the game in the end. We had four possessions in the last five minutes of the game and we just made silly mistakes.”

So, all the Fratmen could do was watch the Beefeaters savour the victory while looking at an off-season that Holmes hopes provides motivation.

“Tough man, it sucks,” Holmes said. “Tough L (loss), but it is what it is and lock and load and get ready for next year.

“Watch them celebrate. That’s all I can say. They’re celebrating on our field. (For me), second place is a fail. We didn’t win, that’s it. So, that’s motivation for us.”



Fratmen To Host 401 Rivals In OFC Final After Win Over Grizzlies

Windsor Fratmen 51 GTA Grizzlies 0

by Jim Parker
Windsor Star

A dominating win scored few points with Windsor AKO Fratmen head coach Mike LaChance.

The top-ranked Fratmen rolled into the Ontario Football Conference final with a 51-0 semifinal win over the Greater Toronto Area Grizzlies on Sunday at Alumni Field.

“A win is a win, especially in the playoffs, but we were far from polished offensively,” LaChance said. “We made too many mistakes, bad reads, poor throws and missed assignments. But, when you put up 51 points, it masks those mistakes.”

AKO had over 400 yards in net offence, built a 30-0 lead at the half and cruised to the victory against the fourth-seeded Grizzlies. AKO will now face the London Beefeaters, who upset Hamilton 17-8 in the other semifinal, in Saturday’s final. Game time at Alumni Field is 7 p.m.

“The bottom line is, if we want to win the OFC, we can no longer play like a young team on the rise,” LaChance said. “We need to show maturity and improvement and play a complete game. London won’t be as forgiving of our mistakes as we saw this week.”

Running back Nash Prieur had 114 yards rushing on seven carries and scored two touchdowns. Dante Lewis had a pair of touchdown receptions with Jojo Paintsil, Nathaniel Norton and Michael Ryan also pulling in touchdown passes.

Sam Richardson converted all seven scores and AKO recorded a safety to complete the scoring.

Beefeaters Heading To OFC Final After Defeating Hurricanes

London Beefeaters 17 Hamilton Hurricanes 8

The Beefeaters met the Hamilton Hurricanes in Brantford in one of the OFC Semi-Final games on Saturday and, after a sluggish offensive start in the first half, came back to defeat the Canes 17-8. Hamilton had the only points in the first 30 minutes, hitting two field goals to go into the halftime up 6-0.


London earned 2 points on a safety in the third quarter on a bad snap by Hamilton on 3rd down near the Canes goal line.


Down 6-2 going into the final frame, the Beefs put up 15 points on two touchdowns and a rouge. Hamilton’s only points of the half came on a fourth quarter conceded safety. The Beefs’ first touchdown came on a 10- yard pass from quarterback Jake Pow to Daniel Jaffe (#81) at the 3:42 mark of the final frame. Leo Centeno (#80) converted and the Beefs were up 9-6.

A missed London field goal at the 10:39 mark of the final frame upped the score to 10-6. With 1:27 left in the game and the ball deep in the Beefeaters end of the field, the Beefs conceded a safety to make the score 10-8.

The defense, that had played well all game, held the Hurricanes on third down and the ball was turned over to the Beefs.


As time ran down, the Beefs moved deeper into the Hamilton side of the field. On a perfectly executed fake handoff to Tazie Vang-Bell that had the Hamilton defenders totally focused on him, quarterback Jake Pow (#10) scampered 15 yards into the endzone for the final score.


Leo Centeno converted again and the final score was 17-8 in a great defensive battle.