The Niagara Regional Raiders began its existence as the Burlington Braves for 58 years. Following the 2015 season, President Larry Irish and Head Coach Brad Anderson requested that the Braves move to Niagara to start the 2016 season. Once given the approval of the Ontario Football Conference (OFC) Executive Board Members, the brand new Niagara Regional Raiders Football team was born.
The Raiders compete in the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL). When moving from Burlington, the decision to change the team’s nickname from Braves to Raiders was made to honour the previous CJFL team to compete in Niagara, also called the Niagara Regional Raiders. With 20 high school senior/varsity football programs, Niagara College and Brock University in the area, moving the team to Niagara was an easy decision.
The CJFL, formed May 8, 1974, is a national amateur Canadian football league consisting of 19 teams playing in six provinces across Canada. The teams compete annually for the Canadian Bowl. A handful of standout players are typically signed directly to CFL rosters each season, while Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) permits up to two years of play in leagues such as the CJFL before a player begins to lose eligibility.
The CJFL’s formal mission statement is: “The Canadian Junior Football League provides the opportunity for young men aged 19 to 23 to participate in highly competitive post-high school football that is unique in Canada. The goal of the league is to foster community involvement and yield a positive environment by teaching discipline, perseverance and cooperation. The benefits of the league are strong camaraderie, national competition and life-long friends.”
Our recruitment commitment to the future Raiders players, whether they attend one of the 20 regional high schools, Niagara College or Brock University, has to be at the highest level possible. We work diligently to respect the student athlete’s time and priorities regarding his commitment to both school and football.