Calgary Colts Junior Football Team, 1989 & 1990
The Calgary Colts Junior Football Team was a member of the Prairie Football Conference (PFC) of the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) and consisted of athletes aged 17 to 22. In 1989 and 1990, the CJFL was made up of 26 teams and five conferences. The Colts won the CJFL National Championships in 1989 and 1990 and were the first team to win the newly established Canadian Bowl Trophy.
In 1989, the Colts finished their regular season in fourth place, then shocked the Regina Rams and the Saskatoon Hilltops with wins to capture the PFC Championship. Next, they faced and won against the Winnipeg Hawkeyes of the Manitoba Junior Football Conference before heading home to Calgary for the National Championship game. The 1989 Colts staged a final upset, as they out-played the favoured Burlington Tiger Cats to take an early lead. Steve Thompson rushed for 214 yards and was named Most Outstanding Offensive Player of the Canadian Bowl. The game ended with a 23-6 victory for the Colts on home turf over the Burlington Tiger Cats and was the first national title for the team since its formation in 1965.
The following season, the 1990 Colts placed second in regular season play. Once again opposed the Saskatoon Hilltops in the playoffs, the Colts triumphed in overtime. The team then secured the Conference Title with a win over the Regina Rams. Next, the Colts travelled to Vancouver, British Columbia to defeat the #1 ranked Surrey Rams and then to Winnipeg, Manitoba to defeat the Thunder Bay Giants to represent the west once again in the National Championships. Their playoff journey finished up in Windsor, Ontario where the Colts soundly out-played the Windsor's AKO Fratmen to again win the Canadian Bowl trophy with a 50-15 victory.
The road to the National Championships is lengthy and extremely difficult and even more so done in consecutive years. The 1989 and 1990 Colts players were supported by an extremely solid group of coaches, staff, management and trainers. The team manager, Keith Evans, worked tirelessly for decades to ensure the team was both operational and competitive. Both the 1989 and 1990 playoff runs were led by Head Coach Keith Kendal, who came to the club in 1987. Coach Kendal and the coaching staff assembled a group of young men with “Never Give Up” attitudes who played with heart, determination, and above all played as a Team.
Sean Weimer, from the 1989 and 1990 teams, commented:
“We, for whatever reason, clicked. The team was comprised of young men from many different walks of life, but for those two years, we were able to find common ground and bond together to form a group of players that was unstoppable.”
Kelly, Sean M.