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

Progress being made on Okanagan wildfires

Danger not over, fires could flare up again

Evacuation numbers remain at nearly 1,000 as B.C. wildfires rage on

200 firefighters and 18 helicopters were working to increase the containment of the fires

Car thief nabbed by Mounties on wildfire duty

RCMP working wildfires deploy spike belt to nab alleged auto thief from Oliver.

Okanagan Wildfires: An evening update on wildfires and evacuations

A Saturday evening look at the major wildfires impacting the Okanagan and Similkameen.

Update: Power restored to 2,000 Lake Country homes

The cause of the outage is unknown

BC Games: Day 2 comes to an end

Hundreds of medals have been handed out at the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

Recovery high schools could help teens before addiction takes hold: B.C. parents

Schools could provide mental health supports and let parents discuss their children’s drug use openly

Haida Gwaii village faces housing crisis, targets short-term rentals

Housing is tight and the village is pretty close to zero vacancy

B.C. VIEWS: Unions regain control of public construction

B.C.’s 40-year battle swings back to international big labour

B.C. mining company, involved in 2014 spill, ordered to pay lost wages

Mount Polley Mining Company must pay wages to 26 employees who were laid off without proper notice

Two significant wildfires burning in southeastern B.C.

More than 20 fires were burning in the Southeast Fire Centre as of Saturday afternoon

Volunteers provide the glue that keeps BC Games moving

The 2018 Cowichan Summer Games had more than 2,300 volunteers on hand across Vancouver Island

No Name brand chicken nuggets recalled due to possible salmonella

Canadian Food Inspection Agency says multiple illnesses reported in B.C., Alberta and Ontario

Lodeiro scores twice to help Sounders beat Whitecaps 2-0

Seattle’s Nicolas Lodeiro opened the scoring in the fifth minute when he converted a penalty kick

Most Read