2009 Canada West football major awards announced
EDMONTON - Canada West Athletics is pleased to announce major award winners for the fall 2009 football season, as selected by coaches of the seven teams.
University of Calgary quarterback Erik Glavic is the unanimous choice for the Frank Gnup Memorial Trophy as Player of the Year. The 6'6'', 230-pound pivot made an immediate impact with the Dinos in 2009, calling the signals as Calgary broke or tied four team offensive records including total offence, completion percentage, first downs, and touchdowns.
He was second in passing in Canada West with 129 completions on 191 attempts for 2,186 yards and led the conference in both touchdown passes (14) and fewest interceptions (6). Glavic also finished tied for fourth in total rushing with 503 yards while leading the No. 2 Dinos to a 7-1 record, the program's best since 1988.
Glavic set a new school single-season record for completion percentage at 67.5, beating out Lincoln Blumell's 1999 mark of 60.7. His 2,186 passing yards was the fourth-best season in school history. Two of his receivers finished one-two in the conference in receiving yards (Anthony Parker, 816; Nathan Coehoorn, 765), while Matt Walter won the conference rushing title with 1,103 yards.
"Erik had a tremendous year in 2009 and brought a new excitement to the University of Calgary," said Dinos head coach Blake Nill. "With Erik at the helm we were able to finish the season near the top of most offensive categories. Erik is a true leader both on and off the field, adding to his aura as one of the top players in CIS."
Glavic will be Canada West's nominee for the Hec Crighton Trophy as the most outstanding player in CIS football, an honour he received in 2007 while with Saint Mary's University. He is the second straight University of Calgary player to win the Frank Gnup award after running back Matt Walter in 2008.
Freshman defensive tackle Linden Gaydosh of the Calgary Dinos is Canada West's nominee for the Peter Gorman trophy as CIS Rookie of the Year - the third Dino in four years to be named the conference's top rookie after quarterback Dalin Tollestrup in 2006 and running back Matt Walter in 2007.
The 6'4'', 320-pound native of Peace River, Alta. started every game for the Dinos along the defensive line in 2009, finishing with 10 tackles on the season including a pair of tackles for loss. He moved to the defensive tackle spot in Week 2 and thrived there for the rest of the season, playing virtually every snap until sitting out the second half of the final game of the regular season at Alberta. Along with his counterparts on the defensive line, Gaydosh helped lead the Dinos to the best run defence in Canada West and the third-best in the nation, allowing more than 100 yards on just two occasions and finishing with 94.2 yards allowed per game. The Dinos only gave up four rushing touchdowns in eight games.
"Linden was our top recruit in 2009," said Nill. "He possesses great quickness for a young man who weighs 320 pounds, and he will be a key part of our defence for the next several years."
Gaydosh attended Ross Sheppard High School in Edmonton for this senior year and represented Canada at the IAAF World Junior Championship over the summer in Canton, Ohio, winning a silver medal.
John Metras Award nominee as the outstanding lineman in Canada West is Alberta sack attack leader and 2009 All-Star Craig Gerbrandt.
The fourth-year graduate of the Edmonton Huskies Prairie Football Conference program racked up a league-leading 10 sacks over the eight-game conference schedule, almost twice as many as his nearest rival. The Sherwood Park, AB product also made 40 solo tackles and added eight assisted tackles, improving on some already-impressive numbers from his first season with Alberta a year earlier. He made 13 combined solo tackles for a loss and also forced two fumbles during the Golden Bears' 4-4 campaign.
"Craig has an outstanding work ethic and is now getting recognized for all that hard work. It's great to have Craig along the defensive line, and taking us to another level," said Alberta head coach Jerry Friesen.
Fifth-year linebacker Taylor Wallace has been honoured for his years of hard work as the Canada West's Most Outstanding Defensive Player in 2009.
The Huskies defensive captain finished 2009 with 38 tackles (26 solo, 31 assisted), 1.5 sacks, one break-up and two fumble recoveries. Wallace finished 16th in the conference in tackles. On defence this season, the Huskies held their eight opponents to a combined 112 points - 55 less than the next best team. They also had the best pass defence efficiency, were tied for first with 21 sacks and stopped teams 73.7 per cent of the time in the red zone.
"Taylor is an unselfish hard working Huskie," said Huskies defensive coordinator Ed Carleton. "He is the quintessential leader of the Huskie defence. He is a talented player that possesses great speed and strength - attributes he has improved on each year as a member of the Huskie Football team. He regularly puts up scores that rank among the best on the team, each fall testing period. His accomplishments on the field are the direct result of his unbelievable work ethic and heart."
Wallace joined the Huskies as a red shirt in 2004. He suited up in games beginning in 2005 and has played in two Vanier Cup championships - 2005 and 2006. In five seasons, he's tallied 145 tackles, 6.5 sacks, one breakup and three fumble recoveries.
Manitoba Bisons second-year linebacker Thomas Hall has been named 2009 Canada West Russ Jackson Outstanding Student-Athlete nominee. He will now be a finalist for the prestigious CIS Russ Jackson Award, presented since 1986, to a player who exemplifies the attributes of football skill, academic achievement and citizenship.
Hall has had an amazing couple of season at Manitoba on and off the field. His nomination is highlighted by numerous endeavours that he has performed in the academic, community and athletic fields. The Winnipeg native is in his third year in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management and earned his first CIS Academic All-Canadian status in his first year of eligibility with a GPA of 4.00.
Hall was instrumental in creating a new annual event called "The Challenge for Life" for CancerCare Manitoba that has increased awareness for all cancers while raising over $2 million to date after only two years. He is now a honourary chair for Cancer Care Manitoba's Challenge for Life Campaign. Hall also speaks to classrooms about the new event to spread the message and of the importance in the community. In addition, as a student-athlete, Hall has been involved over the last two seasons and this season is the co-chair of the "Bison Against Bullying" program. This program is designed to have Bison athletes attend elementary schools throughout Winnipeg to present to children and speak about bullying and preventative solutions to this problem.
Hall has also been the football representative on the University of Manitoba Athletes (UMAC) council over the last two seasons, volunteered his time at the Siloam Mission, began a pilot program called "Reading and Running" in the spring of 2009, which had him and other Bisons work with underprivileged elementary aged students in regards to literary skills and promote an active lifestyle.
On the football field, Hall shone in his first full season as a starter at the linebacker position. He led the team and tied for 13th in the Canada West conference with 38.5 total tackles (32 solo) during the 2009 season. Hall also had 3.5 tackles for losses plus had one interception for 59-yard TD return, one fumble recovery and tied for third most in Canada West with two forced fumbles while playing and starting all eight conference games in 2009.
Bisons head coach Brian Dobie enthused, "Thomas is a special person for not only what he brings to the football team, but his passion and dedication in the community. He has an amazing work ethic and commitment level that reflects his desire to improve on and off the field."
In just four seasons, Calgary Dinos head coach Blake Nill has turned around the program from a 2-6 team in 2005 to a 7-1 record and the No. 2 ranking in the nation in 2009, earning Canada West Coach of the Year honours for the first time.
Nill is up for the national award for the fifth time in his career after winning the Frank Tindall Trophy in 1999. He was the Atlantic conference coach of the year in 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2003 while with Saint Mary's University, winning the Vanier Cup in 2001 and 2002.
"The Dinos are fortunate to have Coach Nill at the helm of our football program," said Kevin Boyles, director of athletics at the University of Calgary. "Blake has a huge amount of presence and has reestablished the proud history of the Dinos in a very short time. From the university administration to the staff, coaches, players, and alumni, everyone has the utmost respect for him and what he has accomplished."
Individual Canada West football major award winners are as
Hec Crighton Player of the Year nominee / Frank Gnup Memorial Trophy winner: *Erik Glavic, Calgary
Peter Gorman Rookie of the Year nominee: Linden Gaydosh, Calgary
John Metras Outstanding Lineman nominee: Craig Gerbrandt, Alberta
President's Award Outstanding Defensive Player nominee: Taylor Wallace, Saskatchewan
Russ Jackson Outstanding Student-Athlete nominee: Thomas Hall, Manitoba
Coach of the Year: Blake Nill, Calgary
All winners automatically become finalists for the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) awards to be handed out Thursday, November 26, during Vanier Cup week in Quebec City. The 65th Desjardins Vanier Cup game takes place November 28th at Université Laval.
The 73rd Hardy Cup game between the Calgary Dinos and Saskatchewan Huskies is on Saturday, Nov. 14, 1:00 p.m. in Saskatoon. The game can be seen live across western Canada on Shaw TV. Current CIS No. 3 Saskatchewan defeated No. 2 Calgary in an overtime shootout before a live TV audience in Week 2. This week's semifinal winner goes on the road to face the AUS champion in the Uteck Bowl, to be broadcast on TSN at noon on Saturday, Nov. 21.
About CWUAA "Canada West is consistently the most decorated of the four conferences in Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS), winning at least 10 CIS national titles every year since 1997-98. Comprised of 14 schools, from the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, the CWUAA produces numerous major award winners and Academic All-Canadian student-athletes each year, with many going on to athletic success around the globe in pro leagues and events such as the Olympics, Paralympics or Universiade Games."