Warren Henderson/Capital News Former Mount Allison Mounties quarterback Jakob Loucks is the most highly-touted recruit for the Okanagan Sun.

Highly-sought pivot brings talents, experience to Sun

Jakob Loucks, a two-year university starter at Mount Allison, was conspicuous at Sun spring camp

After walking off the field at the end of the 2017 season, quarterback Jakob Loucks was unsure whether he’d ever play football again.

Finding a balance between life, education and sports was presenting its share of challenges for the 20-year-old product of Cornwall, Ont.

That all changed this spring when the Okanagan Sun invited the highly-touted Loucks to pay a visit to Kelowna and see what the B.C. Football Conference club had to offer.

“I didn’t think I was going to play again until I took a visit out here and fell in love with the place, the team, the coaches, the scenery,” said Loucks. “So I was like, yeah, I think I’ll give this one more shot.”

All eyes were on Loucks over the weekend in Kelowna, the most auspicious of the 105 players to take to the field at the Sun’s 2018 spring camp.

The U Sports rookie of the year in 2016, the 5-foot-10, 195-pound pivot started the last two seasons for the Mount Allison University Mounties in Sackville, NB.

With a solid resumé and two years of university ball under his belt, the Sun, not surprisingly, have high expectations of Loucks.

“We’re really impressed with Jakob,” said Sun head coach Ben Macauley. “It’s a tough task, coming in with a lot of pressure on you. He’s one of the top recruits in Canada and he’ll be expected to perform that way…we have high expectations for him and so far he’s handling that very well.

“Overall, he’s been very impressive physically and mentally.”

As for those expectations and living up to the hype, Loucks plans to simply focus his efforts on playing the game.

“I kind of don’t let that stuff affect me, I just put my helmet on and go play football,” said Loucks, who passed for 2,859 yards and 16 touchdowns over two seasons at Mount Allison. “People can expect what they want, but I’m just going to get on the field and give everything I have.”

Other quarterbacks taking reps at Sun camp included Gabe Oliveras, the backup last season at UBC, and Matthew Mahler, who returns from last year’s club.

Nick Wenman, who attended his third spring camp with the Sun, took over as the club’s starter part way through last season. However, Wenman is seriously considering transferring to the university level this fall with Mount Allison.

Thanks to an aggressive and thorough off-season of recruiting by the Sun, Macauley said the coaching staff had an ample crop of intriguing prospects to watch over the course of the three-day camp.

Unlike past years, when the Sun has been hard pressed to find enough talent to line up in the trenches, Macauley said the offensive line could well be the club’s strength in 2018.

Calgary’s Daniel Townsend and Brendan Barnes, both with university experience, along with Danil Balan, from Montreal, are among those expected to bolster the O-line, complimenting the talents of returnees such as Marshall Klein and Liam Hamlyn.

“At this time of the year, to have some strength in numbers along the offensive line is a huge feather in our cap,” said Macauley. “We’re going to work hard to maintain that.”

The Sun plans to invite 85 players back for the club’s main training camp beginning July 17.

Okanagan kicks off the 2018 B.C. Football Conference season Aug. 5 in Kamloops.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


@capnewsports

whenderson@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Grass fire reported near Traders Cove

West Kelowna - Emergency crews are responding to reports of a grass fire today

Lake Country residents to meet with district to discuss public beaches

Carr’s Landing residents are invited to provide feedback to the district

Okanagan Lake levels rising

The lake hit full pool today

Kelowna residents enjoy May Days parade

The 59th annual May Days celebration takes place this weekend

Big-time Kelowna band to rock Ponderosa

Yukon Blonde is touring Canada

VIDEO: Grand Forks shores up defences as floodwaters rise to peak levels

Canadian Forces, volunteers working to protect low-lying areas

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

In Photos: Trooper attracts a crowd on Shuswap Lake

Hundreds of boats turn up to watch the Canadian rockers play atop a 94 foot houseboat

VIDEO: As floodwaters recede, crews assess the damage to Grand Forks’ downtown

More than four dozen firefighters and building inspectors came out to help

Wellington Dukes pull off epic upset of Wenatchee at RBC Cup

The Dukes are off to the championship game after downing the Wild 2-1 Saturday at Prospera Centre.

Canada to face U.S. for bronze at world hockey championship

Canada was looking to play in the gold medal game for a fourth straight year, but saw 3-2 loss

Olympic gold medallist returns to Summerland

Justin Kripps brought his gold medal to Summerland Secondary Thursday

Searchers for Vancouver Island father turn focus to Cowichan River

Cowichan SAR joined by many other SAR groups, volunteers now determined to find missing man

Vacationers urged to check for stowaway bats that could carry deadly disease

‘White-nose syndrome’ has killed millions of bats in North America, but hasn’t arrived in B.C. yet

Most Read