#9 Kelon Thomas was recently named CJFL First Team Defensive LinemanPhoto: Jason Harding

REGINA S.K. – The Okanagan Sun Football Club prepares for the CJFL National Championship game in Regina.

The Sun are coming off a big semi final win over the St Clair College Saints out in Windsor sending them back to Kelowna. During the bye week the Sun took home CJFL first and second team honours. Defensive back Garrett Cape, Defensive Lineman Romario Reid, Linebacker Peyton Ryder, Running back Jevon Garwood and Wide Receiver Mike O’Shea earning 2nd Team All Canadian Honours. Offensive Lineman Jeff Vander Werff, Defensive Lineman Kelon Thomas and Kick Returner Mike O’Shea earned 1st Team All Canadian Honours.

The Sun haven’t won a National title since 2000 when they defeated the powerhouse Saskatoon Hilltops 36-28. Since then, the Sun have lost 3 National Championship games in 2015, 2004 and 2001. For the Regina Thunder, this will be their first visit to the Canadian Bowl since the 2013 win they had over the Vancouver Island Raiders.

This time around they will take on the host Regina Thunder in the biggest of all stages, the home of the Grey Cup Game, Mosaic Stadium. Although the Thunder will have home field advantage, they are well aware that they come into the Canadian Bowl as the underdog. This Sun team has been Nationally ranked number one all season long with loads of highlight reel plays on both offense and defense. The Sun have also learned from previous mistakes during cold weather games this season. Last year they lost in the BCFC Final to the Langley Rams during the atmospheric river of 2021, the Sun have also been practicing both inside and outside during the week and got a welcoming dump of snow in the Okanagan, giving them some practice time in the white stuff. Temperatures for the Canadian Bowl are expected to reach -10 with a potential wind-chill effect of -15.

The Regina Thunder will need to maintain their momentum heading into the Championship game. On top of defeating the Saskatoon Hilltops 39-21 their offense caught fire at the right time. Quarterback Carter Shewchuk threw for over 300 yards to 8 different receivers. Shewchuk is also a threat on the ground rushing for two touchdowns in the Prairie Conference Championship win. Another area of focus for the Thunder is their star running back Ryland Leichert who had a combined 85 carries over the two playoff games for the Thunder. The Sun will answer with the countries top run defense and offense led by Dominic Britton who will be motivated to hoist a National Championship after being snubbed on the CJFL All Canadian list.

Saturday’s National Championship game will be broadcast on a pay per view live stream on CJFL TV or you can listen for free on AM1150 or on the iHeartRadio App. Kickoff from 11:00am Pacific Time, 1:00pm Central Time from Mosaic Stadium in Regina.