Chilliwack’s Valley Huskers load up on local talent for 2021 BC Football Conference season

The junior football club is looking for a return to action after COVID cancelled the 2020 campaign

The longest offseason in Bob Reist’s life is slowly coming to an end.

As the COVID pandemic eases, it becomes more likely a junior football season will happen in 2021, and Reist’s Valley Huskers will finally return to action.

He can’t wait.

“It has been the world’s longest offseason, for sure, and at times it felt never-ending,” said Reist, whose BC Football Conference team last played in 2019. “But at the same time, we got a lot done. I’m glad to be wrapping this pandemic up and seeing the benefits of that work.”

June 1 was signing day across the BCFC, and Reist had the Huskers Instagram and Twitter feeds pumping out commitment notices.

He expects the team will have its biggest roster since he took over in 2017 (80-plus players) when they hit the field for training camp in (hopefully) August.

That group will include several local players. Among the players showing up on social media this week — Mateo Tuioti (Sardis), Dhillon Myers (G.W. Graham) and Brent Bilodeau (G.W. Graham). The 2020 recruiting class, which has yet to play a game includes several more locals like quarterback Josh Janssen (Sardis) and receivers Bentley Thomas (G.W. Graham) and Noah Saunders (Sardis) and running back/linebacker Jaiden Claassen.

“Our local recruiting has been good and we also added guys like Dhag Mora (receiver) and Ryan Stzuhar (receiver) out of Abbotsford, so we feel our local base is great,” Reist said. “And we’ve done well with out-of-town recruiting as well.

“I could go on and on about people I’m really excited for, and I don’t want to leave anyone out.”

It wouldn’t be a Reist offseason without some University of Manitoba content, and sure enough he’s added a pair of skill players from the Bisons backfield in running backs Colton Nedotiafko and Brandon O’Connor.

“Brandon is a next-level running back, there’s no doubt about it,” Reist said. “He is big and he is strong and he is going to be a force to be reckoned with in this league. And Colton is another big downhill runner. I expect him to come in and compete and push Brandon and the other running backs that we have.”

On the other side of the ball, Reist is overjoyed to welcome back a player who was a BCFC all-star in 2017, as Danny Harris returns to the team’s defensive backfield.

“When I heard he was coming back it brought a huge smile to my face,” Reist said. “He was playing in Manitoba and dealing with some stuff out there the last couple years. He wants to finish his football where he started and he’s another guy who will be competing for a spot in what I believe will be a very good secondary.

“Danny and all the guys we have coming in are outstanding football players and hard-working kids who know they’re coming in to a very competitive situation. They’ll have to earn their spots because it will be highly competitive at all positions. That will give us a lot of depth and put us in good position to handle the grind of a BCFC schedule.”


@ProgressSports
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

Like us on

l The Huskers are looking for billet families for the 2021 season which will likely kick off with training camp in August and the season start in September. BCFC players are between the ages of 18 and 22 and they come to Chilliwack from across Canada. Billets are paid $600 a month and anyone interested can contact Angela at billets@valleyhuskers.ca or visit valleyhuskers.ca/billets.

BC Football ConferencechilliwackFootball

Just Posted

The theme for this year’s Fraser Valley Regional Library Summer Reading Club is “Crack the Case” and Katie Burns, community librarian at the Chilliwack Library, is encouraging people of all ages to sign up. She is seen here at the Chilliwack Library on Friday, June 18, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Crack the case, read, win prizes with FVRL Summer Reading Club

‘Immerse yourself in other worlds and have a bit of fun while you do it,’ says Chilliwack librarian

Harrison Hot Springs country singer Todd Richard poses for a photo with Mission firefighters. (Photo/Sarah Plawutski)
VIDEO: Harrison country artist Todd Richard plans for a busy, rockin’ summer

Richard and his band look to live shows as restrictions start to lift

Vanessa Dueck.
Snapshots of a Chilliwack father from his loving daughter

Father’s Day memories of special moments shared together

Rachel is a six month old Labrador retriever cross who was found at large. She is seen here at the Chilliwack SPCA on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Rachel at the Chilliwack SPCA

6-month-old puppy found at large, now at Chilliwack SPCA, needs special home

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Black Press Media files)
Burnaby RCMP look for witnesses in hit-and-run that left motorcyclist dead

Investigators believe that the suspect vehicle rear-ended the motorcycle before fleeing the scene

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A police pursuit involving Abbotsford Police ended in Langley Saturday night, June 20. (Black Press Media file)
Abbotsford Police pursuit ends in Langley with guns drawn

One person arrested, witnesses say an officer may have been hurt in collision with suspect vehicle

Most Read