Awards and All-Canadians
HEC CRIGHTON TROPHY – Billy Greene (UBC)
Greene made his fourth season at UBC one for the record books. He was the architect behind one of the biggest turnarounds in program history as his Thunderbirds improved from a 2-6 campaign a year ago to 6-2 and a second-place finish in Canada West. UBC qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2006 and earned its first post-season win since 1999.
In eight regular season games, the 6-foot-1, 220-pound English major led the country in passing yards (2,558) and total offence (380 ypg), tied for the CIS lead in touchdown passes (20), had the best touchdown-to-interception ratio in the nation (20-4) and topped all CIS quarterbacks with a team-best 482 rushing yards. Along the way, he set single-season school records for TD passes and passing yards.
A product of Holy Cross High School in Surrey, Greene was at the helm of the second best passing offence in the country (326 ypg) and the fourth most productive offence overall (471 ypg).
“I’m very happy for Billy, because he took a big step this off-season as far as the work that he put in. It’s always good to see a guy rewarded for the amount of work he puts in and to see a player start to fulfill his potential,” said UBC head coach Shawn Olson. “This is a big as it gets. It’s a huge honour and it’s something that I think every CIS player dreams about. Very few end up being nominated and even fewer have the honour of being able to say they’re a Hec Crighton winner.”
Acadia quarterback Kyle Graves, Sherbrooke wide receiver Simon Charbonneau-Campeau and McMaster wideout Michael DiCroce were also nominated.
PRESIDENTS’ TROPHY – Max Caron (Concordia)
Caron perpetuated Concordia’s tradition of excellence at the linebacker position. Since 2004, Stingers’ players have claimed the Presidents’ trophy on five occasions, including Mickey Donovan in 2004, brother Pat Donovan in both 2005 and 2006, current Kansas City Chief Cory Greenwood in 2009, and now Caron.
In only his second university campaign, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound political science student led the country in solo tackles (67), total tackles (78.5) and interception returned for touchdowns (3) in nine league games. His 78.5 tackles are a new single-season RSEQ conference record, while his five interceptions overall were tops in Quebec and good for second place in CIS. The 22-year-old from Kingston, Ont., also collected 3.5 quarterback sacks, 11 tackles for losses, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries en route to first-team all-Canadian status.
Caron, who came to the Stingers after playing for the Okanagan Sun of the Canadian Junior Football League, was named the RSEQ defensive player of the week three times and was twice honoured at the CIS level.
“Max has tremendous functional intelligence for his position. He knows what’s going to happen before it happens. He’s so good at anticipating what is going to happen, sometimes you’d swear he was in the offensive huddle,”said Concordia head coach Gerry McGrath. “His work ethic is exceptional. He watches more film than anyone. He knows what everyone else’s job is, not just his own.”
Linebackers Tom Labenski of Acadia, Ryan Chmielewski of McMaster and Sam Hurl of Calgary were also up for the Presidents’trophy.
J.P. METRAS TROPHY – Arnaud Gascon-Nadon (Laval)
Gascon-Nadon, who also claimed the J.P. Metras trophy a year ago, became the first multiple winner of the award since its inception back in 1974. His stellar play this fall helped the Rouge et Or finish atop the RSEQ standings with an 8-1 mark and earned him a spot on the first all-Canadian team for the second year in a row.
In his second season at Laval, the 6-foot-3, 250-pound independent studies student tallied 13.5 tackles in nine conference games including seven quarterback sacks, which ranked fourth in the country, and nine tackles for losses, the fifth highest total in the RSEQ. He also forced a fumble, recovered another, and scored the first touchdown of his CIS career on a 19-yard interception return. The native of Montreal was the anchor of a defensive unit that finished first in CIS for least points allowed for the fourth straight year (12.0 ppg) – and for the sixth time in eight campaigns – and was the stingiest in the nation against the run (53.7 ypg).
After three honour-filled seasons with Cegep du Vieux-Montreal, Gascon-Nadon started his university career in the NCAA with the Rice Owls in 2008, earning a spot on the Conference USA all-rookie team. He represented Canada at the 2007 world junior championship in Florida.
“Arnaud is a dominating force at the defensive end position. He is blessed with a rare combination of speed, power and ultimately explosiveness. He is equally effective versus the run as well as the pass,” said Laval head coach Glen Constantin.“There is no doubt that opposing offensive coordinators need to account for him on all plays. He plays the game with great intensity and passion. Arnaud is relentless and his energy level is contagious, making him a great leader.”
The other finalists for the Metras trophy were Acadia defensive tackle Jake Thomas, Queen’s defensive end Osie Ukwuoma and Regina defensive end Akiem Hicks.
PETER GORMAN TROPHY – Tyler Varga (Western Ontario)
Varga, who hails from Kitchener, Ont., is the third Western player to claim the Peter Gorman trophy. He follows in the footsteps of receiver Andy Fantuz (2002) and running back Sean Reade (1992).
To say the 5-foot-10, 218-pound back started his university career with a bang would be an understatement. He scored on a 39-yard run five minutes into his first game against Waterloo on Sept. 5 and, 17 minutes into that first contest, he had already found the end zone three times. The following week against eventual OUA champion McMaster, he added another four rushing touchdowns and 149 yards on 25 carries. Despite sitting out the final game of the regular season to nurse injuries, Varga finished with a CIS-best 15 rushing majors – a single-season record for a freshman– and his 799 yards were good for second in Ontario and fifth in the country. His average of 114 yards on the ground per contest was the third best in the nation this fall, while his 15 rushing TDs rank ninth all-time on the CIS single-season list and are one off the school record set in 1991 by former Hec Crighton trophy winner Tim Tindale.
A product of Cameron Heights CI in Kitchener, Varga was one of the most highly rated prospects in the country last year and played a big role in the Mustangs’ first-place finish in the OUA (7-1). As well as being a top-notch athlete, he is a dedicated student. He is in the Science program at Western with the goal of being an eye surgeon once his playing days are over.
“Tyler has been a complete running back,” said Mustangs head coach Greg Marshall. “He has done a great job in his pass protection and blocking. He is a complete football player, an outstanding student and a pleasure to coach.”
Mount Allison defensive tackle Jacob LeBlanc, Sherbrooke quarterback Jérémi Doyon-Roch and Saskatchewan offensive lineman Jordan Arkko were also nominated for the Gorman trophy.
2011 CIS FOOTBALL ALL-CANADIANS
Pos. - Athlete - University - Year - Hometown - Program
QB Billy Greene UBC 4 Surrey, B.C. Arts
RB Steven Lumbala Calgary 3 Calgary, Alta. Business
RB Anthony Coombs Manitoba 1 Winnipeg, Man. University 1
WR Simon Charbonneau-Campeau Sherbrooke 4 St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que. Biotech. Engineering
WR Michael DiCroce McMaster 3 Hamilton, Ont. Social Sciences
IR Jordan Brescacin Windsor 4 Tecumseh, Ont. Concurrent Math
IR Michael Squires Acadia 4 Halifax, N.S. Business Admin.
C Pierre Lavertu Laval 2 Quebec City, Que. Business Admin.
T Kirby Fabien Calgary 3 Calgary, Alta. Arts
T Brendan Dunn Western 4 Burlington, Ont. Kinesiology
G Matthew Norman Western 4 Montreal, Que. Social Sciences
G Brett Jones Regina 3 Weyburn, Sask. Campion Science
DT Stefan Charles Regina 4 Oshawa, Ont. Campion Arts
DT Seamus Postuma Windsor 4 Thunder Bay, Ont. Social Work
DE Akiem Hicks Regina 4 Elk Grove, Calif. Business Admin.
DE Arnaud Gascon-Nadon Laval 3 Montreal, Que. General Studies
LB Max Caron Concordia 2 Kingston, Ont. Political Science
LB Sam Hurl Calgary 3 Calgary, Alta. Business
CLB Kevin Régimbald Gagné Sherbrooke 4 Rouyn-Noranda, Que. Multidisciplinary Cert.
S Teague Sherman Manitoba 4 Edmonton, Alta. Kinesiology & Rec.
HB Cameron Wade Acadia 3 Moncton, N.B. Science
HB Beau Landry Western 2 Kitchener, Ont. Social Sciences
CB Dominic Noël Laval 3 Sorel-Tracy, Que. Business Admin.
CB Kayin Marchand-Wright Saint Mary’s 1 Montreal, Que. Commerce
P Chris Bodnar Regina 4 Saskatoon, Sask. Kinesiology & Health
K Tyler Crapigna McMaster 2 Nepean, Ont. Env. & Earth Science
RET Kris Robertson Concordia 3 Pickering, Ont. Sociology
QB Kyle Quinlan McMaster 4 South Woodslee, Ont. Economics
RB Ryan Granberg Queen’s 3 Sherwood Park, Alta. Physical Education
RB Sébastien Lévesque Laval 4 Brossard, Que. General Studies
WR Dustin Zender Waterloo 5 Kitchener, Ont Theology Masters
WR Jordan Grieve UBC 4 Salmon Arm, B.C. Commerce
IR Dillon Heap Laurier 5 Waterloo, Ont. Business
IR Alexander Fox Bishop’s 2 Montreal, Que. Social Science
C Quinn McCaughan Calgary 4 St. Francis Xavier, Man. Arts
T Matthew Sewell McMaster 3 Milton, Ont. Commerce
T Ben Heenan Saskatchewan 4 Grande Coulee, Sask. Agri. & Bioresources
G Jason Medeiros McMaster 4 Hamilton, Ont. Sociology
G Reed Alexander Calgary 4 Medicine Hat, Alta. Arts
DT Linden Gaydosh Calgary 3 Peace River, Alta. Arts
DT Jake Thomas Acadia 4 Douglas, N.B. Business Admin.
DE Jonathan Pierre-Étienne Montreal 4 Montreal, Que. Law
DE Rob Jubenville Saint Mary’s 4 Oshawa, Ont. Arts
LB Jordan Verdone Calgary 3 Echo Bay, Ont. Arts
LB Jonathan Beaulieu-Richard Montreal 4 Trois-Rivières, Que. Pharmacology
CLB Sam Sabourin Queen’s 2 Stittsville, Ont. Physical Education
S Jonathan Laliberté Laval 2 Varennes, Que. Business Admin.
HB Matt McGarva Windsor 3 Surrey, B.C. Business
HB Patrick Chénard Sherbrooke 3 Montreal, Que. Human Resource Man.
CB Sam Carino UBC 5 Burnaby, B.C. Arts
CB Andrew Lue Queen’s 2 Markham, Ont. Environmental Studies
P Darryl Wheeler Western 5 Hamilton, Ont. Education
K Johnny Mark Calgary 1 Peterborough, Ont. Arts
RET Nic Demski Manitoba 1 Winnipeg, Man. University 1