The Okanagan Sun will open the 2018 B.C. Football Conference season Aug. 5 in Kamloops. -Image: Douglas Farrow/Contributor

Sun kick off 2018 with four straight on road

With work being done at the Apple Bowl this summer, Okanagan won’t play at home until Sept. 8

With the Apple Bowl unavailable for much of the summer, the Okanagan Sun will kick off the B.C. Football Conference season with four straight games on the road.

The Sun will open the 2018 campaign on Sunday, Aug. 5 in Kamloops against the Broncos. Games on successive weekends will follow in Victoria, Chilliwack and Langley.

Okanagan’s first home game is Saturday, Sept. 8 against the Langley Rams.

Resurfacing of the rubber track at the Apple Bowl begins in July and is expected to take about two months, keeping the Sun off their home field until September.

“We expect it to take its toll a little bit, as the year goes on,” Sun head coach Ben Macauley said. “Having to wait until the second week of September to play at home, it’s hard for the players, not getting a chance to play in front of family and friends until halfway through the season.

“On the good side, we’ll have five of our last six games at home,” he added,” so if we build up a few wins early, we feel like we’ll be in pretty good shape.”

In the longer term, Macauley said the Sun would like to see several other upgrades at the Apple Bowl, including the installation of an articificial turf field.

“The Apple Bowl has been a great venue, but it needs some updating for us to keep up with the rest of the football world,” said Macauley. “Going to the turf would give us almost year-round use, it would help with recruiting and just keep us up to speed with other programs.”

The City of Kelowna, the Sun and Central Okanagan school district have all been involved in discussions about artificial turf for the Apple Bowl, but there are no definitive plans as of yet to move in that direction.

The Sun will host its 2018 spring camp from May 11 to 13 at the Parkinson Rec Centre/Apple Bowl practise fields. Macauley and his staff are expecting more than 100 players to attend camp.

Sun 2018 BCFC schedule

Aug. 5: Sun @ Kamloops Broncos

Aug. 11: Sun @ Westshore Rebels

Aug.18: Sun @ Valley Huskers

Aug. 25: Sun @ Langley Rams

Sept. 8: Langley Rams @ Sun

Sept.15: VI Raiders @ Sun

Sept.22: Valley Huskers @ Sun

Sept. 29: Sun @ V.I. Raiders

Oct. 7: Kamloops Broncos @ Sun

Oct. 13 Westshore Rebels @ Sun

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