Grey Cup champion

Two former Ballenas Whalers took to Investors Group Field in Winnipeg last weekend, with only one leaving the 103rd Grey Cup with a ring.

Two former Ballenas Whalers took to Investors Group Field in Winnipeg last weekend, with only one leaving the 103rd Grey Cup with a ring.

When the final whistle blew, it was Justin Sorensen and his Edmonton Eskimos coming out with a 26-20 win over Andrew Marshall and the Ottawa Redblacks.

For the Oceanside faithful, it was a chance to see two of their former alumni battle it out on the Canadian Football League’s biggest stage; for Sorensen, it was the culmination of a dream he’s had since he was a kid.

“It feels awesome,” Sorensen said from Edmonton earlier this week. “I’ve worked my whole life towards this moment so it feels really good.”

Sorensen began his CFL career in 2009 after five years with the South Carolina Gamecocks in the NCAA. In 2009, he was drafted in the first round, fifth overall, to the B.C. Lions and got to head home.

“That first year in South Carolina I was just trying to keep my head above water,” Sorensen said. “I was just doing whatever it took to survive. Everything was bigger down there, faster and I didn’t know whether I was coming or going.”

Playing football was always a dream of his. His desire translated into success at the high school level, where he was one of the most sought after recruits in Canada heading into his senior season with the Whalers. All of this after he helped win a provincial championship in 2002.

“When I was a kid I just loved playing,” Sorensen said. “Once things happened in high school, I was like alright, let’s see where this can go. I thought maybe I could get in with a college in Canada or possibly the U.S.”

“Getting to play in the NCAA was huge and I thought, let’s see if we can take this to the next level. It’s just a build up effect, every year with the love of the game and now I’m a Grey Cup champion, it’s crazy.”

Sorensen becomes the first Ballenas alumni with his name on the Grey Cup.

“It’s cool coming from such a small town,” Sorensen said. “I always tell people I meet to just work hard and reach for the stars. You know, if you work hard enough at it, if you stay focused on your goals and dreams, anything is possible. I’m living proof of it, I’m blessed and lucky to have made it as far as I have.”

Sorensen and his team celebrated with over 5,000 who greeted them back home. “It was cool to be that close with the fans,” Sorensen said. “The feeling has sunk in, winning the Grey Cup, so it’s just amazing. It’s all an amazing experience, one that I’ll never forget.”

Just Posted

Parksville Beach Festival Society launches campaign for outdoor stage

Public invited to event May 25 to help with kickoff

Crime Report: Oceanside RCMP receive 328 complaints in one-week span

Vandalism and theft of a wheelchair among listed incidents

Controversial cell tower proposal in Coombs clears another hurdle

Committee indicates Rogers satisfactorily completed requirements

Parksville advocate to discuss harm-reduction measures for addicts

Morris, along with a panel of professionals, will be at the PCC on May 21

Oceanside RCMP member rides for childhood cancer research in Tour de Rock

Tim Kenning will cycle 1,000 kilometres in 22nd annual event

UPDATE: B.C. pilot killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

RCMP arrest violent offender on Vancouver Island

Campbell River police struggle with suspect and take him down with a taser

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

Two cats die in house fire in Nanaimo

Fire happened just after 2 p.m. Sunday on Fifth Street, one resident displaced

RDN looking into providing bus service 365 days a year

RDN transit committee to consider adding bus service on Christmas, New Year’s and Good Friday

One year after heartbreaking B.C. search, wife reflects on late husband

First anniversary of Ben Kilmer’s disappearance, and a search that galvanized Vancouver Island

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

Most Read