Kameron Shoesmith of Vanderhoof is the Prince George Kodiaks’ first commit for the team’s inaugural season with the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) BC Conference.
The Kodiaks Football Club announced the expansion of the junior football franchise last July to become the seventh team within the BC Conference and 19th across the CJFL.
Shoesmith takes the field this summer as a wide receiver with high hopes for the season.
“We expect to do really well this season. Just because we’re a new team and we’re from the north doesn’t mean we’re not here to compete and win,” Shoesmith said.
“We’re a championship caliber team — and that’s how it’s going to be for many years to come.”
Nineteen-year-old Shoesmith was a conference all-star quarterback for the northern zone in 2018 and conference all-star wide receiver in 2019.
Shoesmith moved to Prince George last year, coaching grades two to U19, and became known for being involved in the community. That’s where he found out about the Kodiaks expansion.
“They let it slip to me that there was going to be a junior football team and Prince George — and it was agreed that I was going to be the first commit there. I thought that was really cool.”
This year Shoesmith also got to coach alongside his high school mentors Cameron and Sheldon Brown with the Nechako Valley Secondary School Vikings in Vanderhoof.
“Coaches Cameron and Sheldon really helped me on my journey to be a great football player — and ultimately a better man growing up,” Shoesmith said.
“I’m lucky enough that when I graduated they let me coach with them. All the knowledge that they’ve given me and all the knowledge that I received — now I can come back and I can give that knowledge to younger players.”
Vikings Coach Sheldon Brown said it’s great to have his former student coach alongside him.
“It’s a really cool feeling to see that a player from Vanderhoof was the first on the Prince George team. I’m proud of him and I can’t wait to go out and support him,” Brown said.
“We try to coach these guys not just as better football players but as better young men — and to see him giving back to the community is just awesome.”
Shoesmith thanked his parents Stacey Stewart and Wayne Shoesmith for always supporting his football ambitions. He’s looking forward to having them attend his first home games in Prince George this summer — and he’s practicing hard already.
“We’re working out every Monday and Thursday. Then we’ve got open field times, pretty much seven days a week. So we’ve been building a lot of relationships and we’re putting in a lot of hard work and effort.”
Shoesmith said there are three home games this year and tickets are 50 per cent sold out already. The schedule isn’t released yet but tickets are available at the PG Kodiaks Football Club website.