Okanagan Sun look to win first game ever on the Canadian prairies

Can Sun make history?

The Okanagan Sun are putting two perfect records on the line when they face the Regina Thunder in Saturday's Canadian Bowl at Mosaic Field in Regina.

The goal is to continue one and, in doing so, break the other.

The Sun go into Saturday's Canadian Junior Football League title game a perfect 13-0 on the season.

They also head to Regina winless in 10 previous trips to the prairies dating back to a heartbreaking 29-28 loss in Edmonton to the Wildcats in the 1983 national semi-final.

Over the previous 41-year history of the franchise, the Sun are 0-6 in national semi-final games on the prairies and 0-4 in national finals, the most recent a 38-24 setback in Saskatoon in 2015.

So, what's the secret sauce.


"As a prairie boy born and raised, I can tell you unequivocally, it's the weather," said Sun head coach Travis Miller during Wednesday's final practice before the team flew out to Regina Thursday morning.

"I think it adds a drastic advantage to those teams that practice in it and live it every single day.

"Teams from the west coast don't tend to live in the cold. Luckily for us, the last two weeks have been cold so we've had the opportunity to get outside and get some practices in and get ourselves acclimated."

The Sun left a day earlier so they can get in two full days of practice in Regina where temperatures are in the high minus teens with a windchill of about -24C.

There is expected to be a mix of sun and cloud by game time Saturday with temperatures of about -11C with a windchill of -19C.


"It's going to be cold for sure," said first-year receiver Noah Bymak who led the Sun in receptions (33), yards (616) and touchdowns (9) over the course of the regular season.

"Some guys here may not be used to it but I'm actually from Saskatchewan, and we've had a couple of practices to acclimate ourselves.

The cold, says Bymak means a lot of smash mouth football in the trenches, and not as much throwing.

Oh, and they're big boys too.

"There's a first for everything," said third year safety Garrett Cape referring to the clubs historic prairie record.

"We've just got to play our brand of football and make sure that we don't go to their level. We know we can stop the run, understand our offence can still do what they need to do."

Kickoff Saturday is 11 a.m. Pacific time.

Five members of the Sun were named second team All-Canadians.

Cape, receiver Mike O'Shea, running back Jevan Garwood, defensive lineman Romareo Reid and linebacker Peyton Ryder were all honoured by the CJFL.

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