The Okanagan Sun’s leading rusher each of the last two seasons is headed south.
Running back Armand Bokitch will attend Butte College in Chico, California this fall on an academic scholarship, while playing with the Roadrunners’ football program.
Bokitch, 20, is enrolled in the Firefighting Academy, and will take the same courses as West Kelowna native and Philadelphia Eagles’ lineman Danny Watkins who attended Butte in 2007 and 2008.
Bokitch settled on Butte, in part due to the recommendation of Kelowna product Aaron Goddard who played last season at the California school.
“After last season with the Sun I thought about my opportunities and decided it was time to take my football to the next level,” said Bokitch, a graduate OKM Secondary. “In talking to Aaron, he told me how great things were down there and how much he enjoyed it.
“So I gave the coach some film, then I went down there a couple of months ago, took campus tour, and showed them what I was capable of. It looks like a good fit for me.”
Bokitch joins a school with a reputation as one of the best junior college football programs in the U.S. The Roadrunners won the national title in 2008, and have also captured 13 conference titles.
The Roadrunners top running back from 2011 is moving on, leaving a marquee starting spot up for grabs. Bokitch fully plans to be in the mix.
“The (coaches) said the starting spot is there, it’s up to whoever wants it the most,” said Bokitch, who is 5-foot-8, 185 pounds. “I’m really planning on getting some reps in the offense and I’m going to work as hard as I can to earn that.”
As far as preparations go, Bokitch insists he has never toiled harder to be ready for a football season, working out as many as four times a day, six days a week.
“Ever since I got this opportunity, I wanted to make sure I was ready. I don’t want to give any excuses for not being at my best, both athletically and academically.”
In addition, Bokitch said his two seasons in an Okanagan Sun uniform were an invaluable part of his growth process.
“My time with the Sun was great, I learned a lot in those two years,” said Bokitch who rushed for 1,058 yards and 10 touchdowns over two seasons with the Sun. “The biggest thing is, I matured as a player. I got to grow up in a football sense, both mentally and physically. Staying here for two years out of high school was a comfortable situation for me. Now I feel like I’m ready for the next step.”
The OKM grad’s long-term plan is to play two seasons at Butte, then move on to an NCAA university program.