Seven Broncos to Play Final Home Game Saturday

by Jamie Shinkewski

Seven players on the Kamloops Broncos will take to the field at Hillside Stadium for the last time in their junior football careers on Saturday when the Vancouver Island Raiders come to town. The Broncos will pay tribute to the players whose junior eligibility expires at the end of the season by introducing them instead of the starting offence or defence. 

The 2017 graduating players are:

      DB/K – Langley, B.C.


Chris played three years for the Broncos. His 2017 season has been shortened due to injury, but he established himself as a versatile player in the blue and orange playing on defense and special teams as kicker.  He registered one tackle and one forced fumble in 2016. He was also one of three kickers used, making two of four field goals and eight conversions.

“He’s been battling injury this season so it’s been kind of a rough year for him. He was one of those guys we could throw in there, if we needed a kicker he could kick. If we needed a guy to go in and play special teams, he’d be that guy, and obviously on defense as well,” said head coach Brad Yamaoka. “He’s just one of those guys you love having around the locker room. He’s a good kid, he’s proud to be a Bronco and I think he promotes our program quite well and he does help recruit a number of players.”

#7 Connor Thornewell
      DB – Leduc, Alta.

Connor has played five seasons for the Broncos and has started at halfback this season. He had 22 tackles in 2016 and was second on the team with two interceptions. This season he has 10 tackles and returned an interception for the Broncos’ only defensive touchdown.

“I thought this was probably his best year he’s ever had. He’s stepped up and took a starting role this season and really performed well,” Yamaoka said. “He’s one of those guys, kind of a jokester in the locker room and one of those guys you just love having around.”

#32 Kieran Muir
        DB – Prince George, B.C.

Kieran has played all five seasons of his eligibility at corner for the Broncos and has grown into a team captain. In 2016 he had 25 tackles and one interception. This season he has 23 tackles.

#42 Robby Filice
LB/DL - Vernon, B.C.

Robbie returned to the Broncos for part of a third season following the bye week in a road game against the Langley Rams recording two tackles. That followed a 2016 season where he recorded 10 tackles in seven games and 2015 when he recorded six special teams tackles in five games.

#52 Darcy Cherneff
LB – Victoria, B.C.

Darcy was an offseason addition from the Westshore Rebels, and played one season with the Broncos. He was a receiver and running back for the Rebels, recording 185 total yards over two seasons. He switched to defence this season upon request from the coaching staff. He has recorded 27 tackles  and one fumble recovery.

“He puts the team first which is always a great trait to have in a football player. He’s very unselfish, he’ll do whatever it takes to help the team, great attitude and he brought a great leadership to our program this year and unfortunately we only had him for one season but we wish we would’ve had him for a couple more,” Yamaoka said.

#80 Brody Bernier
REC – Leduc, Alta.

Brody also played all five eligible seasons with the Broncos has been the team’s top receiver each of the past two years. Last year, Brody was the leading receiver on a Broncos team that led the league in passing yards. He was 5th in the BCFC with 641 yards on 38 receptions and he scored five touchdowns. This season he is the only Broncos receiver with more than 300 yards and sits 6th in the BCFC with 420 yards, and 3 touchdowns.

“He’s definitely one of our leaders on offense,” Yamaoka said. “He brings a lot of maturity and work ethic to the table. He’s just one of those guys that wants to get better every time. He’s going to be missed. He’s a talented football player and hopefully he has a chance to move forward.”

#86 Sam Haeni
REC – Calgary, Alta.

Another fifth year Broncos player, a silent leader on the team Sam has battled through injuries this season but is healthy and ready to suit up for his final home game on Saturday. Last year he had two receptions for 22 yards. He has registered three receptions for 41 yards this season.

“Sam is a really smart football player, he understands the game. As a receiver he runs good routes and he’s pretty sure-handed, he doesn’t drop a lot of balls,” Yamaoka said. “He’s been unlucky over the last at least year and a half with regards to injuries. He’s pretty healthy now so we’re hoping coming into the last part of the season we’ll be able to get him on the field and get him some playing time.”