Vernon's Tye Kitzman and Zac Kronbauer are among the Okanagan's Sun recruiting class for 2015.

Vernon's Tye Kitzman and Zac Kronbauer are among the Okanagan's Sun recruiting class for 2015.

Sun loads up on new recruits

Head coach Shane Beatty adds athleticism and speed on defense with 31 new signings prior to junior football season

With the departures of key veterans Robbie Yochim, Dexter Janke, Ron Mwamba, Zac Ironstand and Eli Manu from last year’s squad, Shane Beatty had his work cut out landing some qualified reinforcements during the off-season

Based on this week’s signing of 31 new recruits, the Okanagan Sun head coach is confident his club has addressed most of its needs for the 2015 BCFC season.

“We’ve added a lot of athleticism,” said Beatty, who conducted his third Sun spring camp last weekend with close to 100 players on hand.

“We’ll have good speed on defense, and some pretty good talent all across the board. We feel good about the players we’ve signed.”

Beatty said the Sun defensive line could be one the club’s deepest positions this season after the signing of at least four promising recruits, all of whom are 6-foot-4 or taller.

Kent Lawrence, a 6-foot-7, 245-pound D-end comes to the Sun from Reedley College in California. Rutland’s Cory McCoy, Connor Whitney from Winnipeg and Salmon Arm’s Riley Butler could also have an impact along the line, joining returning Sun all-stars Jonas Gering and Michele Vecchio, who is making the shift to nose tackle from the O-line.

“We wanted to make sure we didn’t end up short on the D-line,” said Beatty. “We’ll be very strong there.”

At linebacker, the Sun has added Curtis Garlough, a 6-foot-2 prospect from South Delta Secondary, while the defensive secondary has been bolstered by Kohl Hrycewich from Westsyde in Kamloops and Vernon’s Tye Kitzman.

On offense, the Sun has added 205-pound running back Abdi Nasir Abdi from Moscroft in Vancouver, receivers Jesse Falconer from Grande Prairie, Regina’s Shamar Donaldson—the son of former CFLer Vincent Donaldson, and Zac Kronbauer from Vernon.

A key addition to the offensive line is Ryan Wengelinski, a 6-foot-3, 320-pounder from Winnipeg.

At the quarterbacking position, the Sun had added Keith Zyla from Edmonton and Saskatchewan’s Nick Wenman.

Along with returning pivots Cam Bedore and Josiah Joseph, Beatty said the position will be in good hands.

“We have four guys there that we really like,” Beatty said.

With around 78 players on the roster, the Sun’s main training camp will open July 4.

Okanagan will kick off the BCFC season Saturday, July 25 at the Apple Bowl against the Westshore Rebels.

 

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