The Winnipeg Rifles will be travelling to BC later this fall to play an opponent outside of the Prairie Junior Football Conference for the first time in team history. The Rifles will meet the Valley Huskers in Chilliwack on Saturday, September 17th that will count for two points in the standings.
The defending champion Saskatoon Hilltops will also play the Okanagan Sun in Kelowna on September 17th in a rematch of the 2015 Canadian Junior Football League Final. It will be the 9th all time meeting between the two perennial contenders, with Saskatoon having won 5 of those National Semifinals or Finals.
“I think it shows there`s a real benefit to be part of the CJFL,” says Commissioner Jim Pankovich. “The teams in BC and the teams in the Prairies, play each other in their regular seasons, but what if we included some inter conference games? What`s the level of competition and is there an opportunity to look at it during the regular season? We wanted to look at some really competitive matches, not just necessarily the first and second place teams but right through the entire depth of each conference. There is a lot of enthusiasm from the member teams. It’s a really interesting concept and a really interesting idea to bring forward because of the excitement and interest in can create. I’m looking forward to both games.”
If there is a positive response from fans in Chilliwack and Kelowna, the league says it will look at increasing the number of inter conference games in future seasons.