New head coach Shane Beatty addresses the players Sunday following the Okanagan Sun's 2013 spring camp.

Spring camp breeds optimism for Sun

Close to 90 players on hand for Shane Beatty's first camp as BCFC club's head coach

Each and every May, hope springs eternal for the Okanagan Sun.

With a new head coach at the reins and close to 90 players auditioning their talents at the Sun’s annual spring camp, the B.C. Football Conference club caught a first glimpse of what’s to come in 2013.

First-year head man Shane Beatty was encouraged by what he saw over two days of workouts at the Parkinson fields as the club looks to turn the page on a disappointing 2012 campaign.

“Overall I was really pleased, I was excited to see the way the kids competed and ran around,” said Beatty. “They’re a very coachable group, and to put in the scheme that we just put in the last two days, the kids picked it up very well…very cerebral.”

Among areas of the team Beatty is most pleased with are the offensive line, defensive secondary and linebacker, all positions the head coach expects to be stronger with more depth than in 2012.

The status of one key position currently up in the air is at quarterback where three main contenders took reps at camp over the weekend—incumbent Cam Bedore, Theo Deezer from Winnipeg and  Jahlani Gilbert-Knorren from the University of Saskatchewan.

Due to the competitive nature of recruiting in the junior ranks, there’s no guarantee all pivots will be coming back for main camp in July. But if they do, Beatty said there will be some interesting decisions to make.

“Not sure at this time (the quarterbacks) are one I’ll have to plead the 5th on,” joked Beatty, who plans to add another quarterback for camp in July. “We’ll take some time to evaluate that as a staff, sit down and talk and see which direction we want to go in because they’re all three different kids. I thought Cam (Bedore) did a very good job.”

Jay Christensen has witnessed his share of Sun camps over the last three decades, first as a player, next as a coach and, for the last two springs as the club’s GM.

As for the 2013 installment of spring camp, Christensen was impressed by both the energy and team unity displayed by the majority of the players—both positive signs going forward.

“The most notable factor is the enthusiasm, the guys were really flying around out there,” said Christensen said. “But you know, it was funny, if you saw a big hit on the field, a defensive guy hit an offensive guy, everybody cheered. And the same thing on offense, they didn’t just take it, which they have in some years in the past.

“I think there was really good chemistry with the guys considering the number of new faces that are out there.”

While the club’s new head coach is confident some important steps were taken at spring camp, Beatty said there is still plenty of legwork to be done before the Sun gathers for the start of main camp in seven weeks.

“We have a lot of work to do,” admitted Beatty. “We have to clinic each other on the fundamentals, the staff has to get together and we have a lot of things we need to work out. Having said that, I feel very good about where we’re at right now.”

Beatty expects the club to invite about 75 players back for main camp, which will kick off Friday, July 5.

Billets needed…

The Sun organization is currently seeking host families in Kelowna and area to billet out-of-town players.

For more information, call billet coordinator Tamiko Lyle at 250-212-0058, or email



Just Posted

Let it snow in Kelowna

Snow is in the forecast for this week

Photos: Adventuring in Stuart Park

Have you seen Friday’s edition of the Capital News? Check out the photos featured

Rutland students help less fortunate

At Rutland Senior Secondary, students are helping the homeless this holiday season

Lake Country seniors receive Christmas surprise

Hampers will be given to 20 lucky seniors in need next week

Column: Make it a green Christmas

Instead of purchasing a cuddly stuffie this year, put your money towards helping the real thing.

What’s happening

Find out about the events happening in your community this weekend

#MeToo at work: Employers play a role in fixing culture of harassment

B.C. workplaces are getting ahead of being the next MeToo debacle, calling on experts to train staff

B.C. woman brain injured in crash as a baby gets $1.1 million in damages

Trial heard the woman was 16 months old, being carried by her mother when they were both hit

Lind nets three in Rockets win; Dube and Foote named to Canada’s roster

Kole Lind returns from national junior camp to lead Rockets to victory in P.A.

Interior Health holding immunization clinic in Vernon Saturday

IH issues list of Okanagan meningococcal immunization clinics

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Annual Christmas meal held as Kelowna Gospel Mission

The meal will be held tomorrow from 12 to 6 p.m.

Most Read