Coming off his last and best season with the Okanagan Sun, Kyle Patchell is taking his football talents to the next level.
The 22-year-old Kelowna product has signed on with the University of Manitoba Bisons for the 2016 Canada West season.
Patchell is excited to be joining a program he has become familiar with during his years with the Sun.
“There’s been a longstanding connection with Manitoba and the Okanagan Sun,” said Patchell. “I have played with tons of guys from Manitoba over my career with the Sun.
“I also know quite a few guys that have gone on to play for the Bisons after playing for the Sun, including quarterback Theo Deezar. So that was definitely a factor in my decision.”
Patchell capped off his five-year BCFC career in style in 2016, catching 47 passes for 697 yards five touchdowns during the regular season.
He raised his play to another level in the playoffs, catching a team record 11 passes for 176 yards and three touchdowns in the conference semifinal against Kamloops.
In the Canadian Bowl, despite the Sun’s 38-24 loss to Saskatoon, Patchell was stellar with a record-tying nine receptions for 110 yards and a major.
Over his last four games in Sun colours, the 5-foot-11, 170-pound receiver caught an eye-popping 35 passes for 529 yards and five touchdowns.
Bison receivers coach Blair Atkinson said Patchell will be a welcome addition to the Winnipeg-based program.
“Kyle will add a veteran presence to our core of young receivers,” Atkinson said. “He is a polished receiver who can find the hole across the middle and make tough contested catches.”
Although currently undecided, Patchell is considering enrolling the business program at the U of Manitoba.
He is the sixth Sun player to commit to a Canada West team since the end of the 2015 season.