Broncos Excited With ‘Really Athletic’ Recruits
by Jamie Shinkewski
The Kamloops Broncos were busy building the 2017 roster throughout the opening weekend of free agent signings as 26 players have committed to play in the Tournament Capital this season.
“My initial thoughts are that we got a really athletic group of guys,” said head coach Brad Yamaoka. “It’s a pretty good year for us to get a lot of the skill guys that we needed and I think we did a good job especially on the offensive side of the ball. We have some really talented receivers coming in, so Colby will have some good targets to deal with the next coming season so were pretty excited.
“We brought in some good kids. I think the reason a lot of these kids decided to sign here was that they felt comfortable, they fit in and everyone got along. The veterans obviously took some of these kids under their wings during our spring camp so I think for the most part we’ve brought in some very good character kids that are going to work hard, that are going to buy in to what we’re doing here. I think we’ve done a great job of finding those kids that are going to fit in and really thrive here in Kamloops.”
The 2017 rookie class includes six players from Kamloops; Kaden Cook (South Kamloops), Dayton Duplessis (South Kamloops), Myles Everett (Valleyview), Parker Matheson (Westsyde), Tyson McNeil (South Kamloops) and Jordan Smith (Valleyview).
“You always want to have local kids on your roster. They may or may not be the superstars of the team but they’re the kids that make up the heart and soul of the program for sure,” Yamaoka said. “Some guys will be developmental guys other guys are going to contribute right away and always having that local talent is always a good thing to have. People know them, they see them, they want to come watch them.
On the offensive side of the ball the Broncos added five offensive linemen, six receivers, two running backs and quarterback Jericho Schmidt, who will likely compete behind reigning CJFL Rookie of the Year Colby Henkel for action.
Defensively, the Broncos added four linebackers, six defensive backs and one defensive lineman.
“We definitely lost a couple of receivers last year due to graduation, we lost a couple O-linemen as well so we have certain things that we’re trying to fill and trying to piece together,” Yamaoka said. “On the defensive side of the ball, we found a couple DBs that we brought in that are going to help us out right away. Everyone I think that we brought in is going to contribute in one way or another.”
The Broncos also signed kicker Liam Boyd (Vernon, B.C.) as they look to improve on a 50 per cent field goal completion rate from 2017, split between three different players.
“We’re hoping to have someone that can step up and take on that position full-time to do punting, field goals and kick-offs. We can only dress 55 players for a game so every spot is important,” Yamaoka said. “If we can get one kicker to do everything that’s going to help us out a ton as opposed to having to dress two kickers. We’re going to hopefully find that guy in the first couple weeks of our main camp and hopefully we can stick with him throughout the season.”
Broncos training camp opens on July 10 and the regular season kicks off on July 29, but Yamaoka said recruiting likely will continue through those dates.
“We’re always still looking. I think receiver we’re set we probably won’t be looking there anymore and quarterback we’re fairly confident we have a good group of guys coming in,” the coach said. “If someone comes across us we think will help our football team we’ll definitely look at it and see if it’s worth the effort to get them to come to Kamloops. It never really ends. We’ll be recruiting right up into the camp and probably into the first part of the season. CIS programs have kids that may or may not make the team and things like that so we’re always going to be on the lookout.”
Kamloops Broncos 2017 Signings
Jericho Schmidt – Saskatoon, Sask.
Darcy Cherneff – Victoria, B.C.
Andrew Pocrnic – Saskatoon, Sask.
Parker Matheson – Kamloops, B.C. (Westsyde)
Darian Pritchard – Port Coquitlam, B.C.
Gabriel Saklofsky – Richmond, B.C.
Nick Hykawy – Maple Ridge, B.C.
Thijs Duineveld – Chilliwack, B.C.
Max Joseph – Guildford, B.C.
Tyson McNeil – Kamloops, B.C. (SKSS)
Jordan Smith – Kamloops, B.C. (Valleyview)
Andrew Goldenthal – Vernon, B.C.
Josh Middlemiss – Strathmore, Alta.
Riley McLean – Kindersley, Sask.
Liam Boyd – Vernon B.C.
Austin Pollard – Grand Prairie, Alta.
Colton Tuffs – Calgary, Alta.
Jase Roberts – Salmon Arm, B.C.
Oscar Croucher – Fort St. James, B.C.
Spencer Jomha – Victoria, B.C.
Dayton Duplessis – Kamloops, B.C. (SKSS)
Namca Nguyen – Saskatoon, Sask.
Kaden Cook – Kamloops, B.C. (SKSS)
Landon Wilkinson – Winnipeg, Man.
Riley Bos – Vernon, B.C.
Myles Everett – Kamloops, B.C. (Valleyview)