Vernon football stars suit up for Team B.C.

Former Vernon Panthers defensive back Braden Khunkhun will be joined by Panthers runningback Joe Murphy in suiting up for Team B.C. at the U18 Football Canada Cup starting Monday, July 11, at the Kelowna Apple Bowl. (Contributed)Former Vernon Panthers defensive back Braden Khunkhun will be joined by Panthers runningback Joe Murphy in suiting up for Team B.C. at the U18 Football Canada Cup starting Monday, July 11, at the Kelowna Apple Bowl. (Contributed)
Vernon Panthers runningback Joe Murphy (12) will be joined by Panthers alumnus Braden Khunkhun in suiting up for Team B.C. at the 2022 U18 Football Canada Cup starting Monday, July 11, at the Kelowna Apple Bowl. (Darren Hove photo)Vernon Panthers runningback Joe Murphy (12) will be joined by Panthers alumnus Braden Khunkhun in suiting up for Team B.C. at the 2022 U18 Football Canada Cup starting Monday, July 11, at the Kelowna Apple Bowl. (Darren Hove photo)

Two Vernon Panthers are part of Team B.C. that will compete in the eight-team U18 Football Canada Cup at the Kelowna Apple Bowl beginning Monday, July 11.

Defensive back Braden Khunkhun and running back Joe Murphy are on the roster of the sixth-ranked British Columbia squad, which also includes Kelowna Owls defensive linemen Rocco Williams and linebacker Max Gainey.

“I’m a very competitive person so I’m very excited to compete with the best athletes from the other provinces, who may be my future teammates at the next level,” said Khunkhun. “Playing in the Canada Cup for me is very special because it’s something I’ve looked up to since I started playing football. I’m very grateful to compete in such a high-level tournament against the best football players in this country.”

Khunkhun, Murphy and Team B.C. will get their first taste of championship action on Monday when they face Team Alberta at 7 p.m. at the Apple Bowl.

This is the first time in its history that the tournament will be played in Kelowna. Since its inception in 1995 it has been earmarked as the best under-18 football tournament with the next class of talented players.

It will also be the first tournament since 2019 due to the pandemic.

Teams will begin to arrive on Saturday with each of the eight teams seeing their first action on July 11. Games will also be played on Thursday, July 14 and the final group of games on Sunday, July 17.

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