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CIS football MAJOR AWARDS announced. Groulx captures Hec Crighton Trophy

HAMILTON (CIS) – Fourth-year Laval quarterback Benoit Groulx is the outstanding player in Canadian Interuniversity Sport football for the 2008 season.

Groulx becomes the first Rouge et Or to claim the Hec Crighton Trophy since the program made its CIS debut in 1996. The Montreal native is also the first recipient from the Quebec conference since Ottawa quarterback Phil Côté in 1999 and only the second winner from a Quebec-based university following McGill fullback Dave Fleiszer, who was the third CIS MVP in history back in 1969.

Other CIS award winners announced Thursday night during the All-Canadian Banquet at the Hamilton Convention Centre were Queen’s linebacker Thaine Carter of Nanaimo, B.C., who captured the Presidents’ Trophy as the nation’s top defensive player; defensive tackle Étienne Légaré of St-Raymond, Que., also from Laval, who received the J.P. Metras Trophy as outstanding down lineman; Waterloo linebacker Jordan Verdone of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., who claimed the Peter Gorman Trophy as rookie of the year; and Toronto quarterback David Hamilton of Mississauga, Ont., who received the Russ Jackson Award for combining academics, athletics and citizenship.

The winners of the Frank Tindall Trophy as CIS coach of the year and of the Gino Fracas Award, honouring a volunteer assistant coach, will be announced Friday morning at the CIS Coach of the Year Breakfast, also at the Convention Centre.

The 2008 Desjardins Vanier Cup will see the No. 3 Western Ontario Mustangs (10-1) battle the No. 1 Laval Rouge et Or (11-0) on Saturday, November 22 at 2 p.m. at Ivor Wynne Stadium. The CIS football final will be televised on The Score Television Network and RDS, with SSN Canada providing the webcast. The Score kicks things off at 1 p.m. with a one-hour pre-game show.

For all the info on the 2008 Desjardins Vanier Cup visit: or

HEC CRIGHTON TROPHY - Benoit Groulx (Laval)

Groulx was named the Quebec conference MVP for the second time in three years following a record-breaking season that saw him complete 75.2 percent of his passes (185 of 246), which surpassed the previous CIS mark of 70.4 set by Alberta’s Garry Smith back in 1962. The 5-foot-9, 216-pound pivot had also led the nation in accuracy in his first two varsity campaigns in 2005 (68.2) and 2006 (68.0), and was ranked first in the country midway through the 2007 season (75.9) before being sidelined by an injury.

The education student was among the CIS leaders in most statistical categories this fall, finishing second in completions (185), third in yards per completion (9.70), fourth in passing yards (2,385) and yards per game (298.1), and tied for sixth in touchdown passes (12). He was also picked off in only one of eight conference matches, finishing with a CIS-low two interceptions.

Groulx was the uncontested leader of a Laval offensive unit that topped the nation in passing during the regular schedule (342.8 yards per game), and ranked second in total yards (515.9 yards per game), third in points (337) and seventh in rushing (173.1 yards per game).

A Vanier Cup champion in 2006, Groulx guided the No. 1-ranked Rouge et Or to the fourth 8-0 regular season in team history, a sixth consecutive Dunsmore Cup as QUFL champions, a record-tying sixth straight appearance in a CIS Bowl game and a fourth berth in six years in the national final.

Should Laval win on Saturday, Groulx would become the fourth player in history to claim the Hec Crighton Trophy and the Vanier Cup in the same year after UBC running back Mark Nohra in 1997, Calgary receiver Don Blair in 1995 and Calgary quarterback Greg Vavra in 1983.

“Of all the quarterbacks I’ve coached or coached against in my career, Benoit has the best comprehension of defensive systems,” said Laval head coach Glen Constantin. “His decision-making process is extremely quick, which helps make him such an accurate passer.”

“Ever since his rookie season, Benoit has always had the best completion percentage in the nation, and this year he threw only two interceptions all season. His consistency comes from his exceptional vision and understanding of the game,” added Rouge et Or offensive coordinator Justin Éthier.

Third-year Mount Allison quarterback Kelly Hughes of Brampton, Ont.; fourth-year Queen’s running back Mike Giffin of Kingston, Ont.; and second-year Calgary running back Matt Walter of Calgary were the other nominees for the Hec Crighton Trophy.

PRESIDENTS’ TROPHY - Thaine Carter (Queen’s)

Carter is the first Gael to claim the Presidents’ Trophy as the nation’s best defensive player since the inception of the award in 1980.

The 6-foot-2, 225-pound fourth-year senior led his team in tackles for the second straight season with a total of 42.5, including 33 solo, while also racking up three quarterback sacks, two forced fumbles and a pair of fumble recoveries in eight conference outings.

The economics student, who was named an OUA all-star for the second year in a row and a first-team all-Canadian, helped the Queen’s defence finish first in Ontario with the fewest points allowed (116) and rushing yards allowed per game (87), totals that were good for second and third place in the country, respectively.

Carter led the Gaels to the first 8-0 campaign in team history, their first unblemished conference record since 1989 (7-0) and their first regular season title since 1997, when Queen’s topped the defunct OQIFC with a 6-2 mark.

“Thaine has been the inspirational part of our defence for the past two seasons,” said Queen’s head coach Pat Sheahan. “He is a motor that is always ready and is an indispensible part of our team.”

A trio of linebackers - St. Francis Xavier’s Henoc Muamba of Kinshasa, Congo; Montreal’s Joash Gesse of Montreal; and Calgary’s Andrea Bonaventura of Hamilton - were also in the running for the Presidents’ Trophy.

J.P. METRAS TROPHY - Étienne Légaré (Laval)

Légaré is the third Laval player - and the first Rouge et Or defensive player - to win the J.P. Metras Trophy, after current Winnipeg Blue Bomber Dominic Picard, in 2005, and former B.C. Lion Carl Gourgues, in 2001.

Despite missing one game due to an injury, the 6-foot-4, 265-pound fourth-year senior was second in Quebec and tied for sixth in the nation in the regular season with 6.5 quarterback sacks. The education student, a Vanier Cup champion in 2006, also forced a fumble and was third on the Rouge et Or with 23 tackles as he earned his first nod as a first-team CIS all-Canadian.

Légaré’s exploits helped Laval set a team record with only 60 points allowed in conference play. The Rouge et Or defensive unit had one of the most dominating seasons in recent history, leading the nation in points against, total yards (255) and rushing yards (69) allowed per game, and finishing second in pass defence (185 yards per game).

“Without a doubt, Étienne is our most dominant defensive player,” said Constantin. “He is a versatile player who can excel at tackle or end thanks to his explosiveness. He is what coaches call a ‘ball hawk’, his motor never stops.”

StFX offensive tackle Steve Myddelton of Barrie, Ont.; Queen’s defensive end Osie Ukwuoma of Mississauga; and UBC defensive end Scott McCuaig of Surrey, B.C., were also vying for leading-down-lineman honours.

PETER GORMAN TROPHY – Jordan Verdone (Waterloo)

Verdone becomes the first Warrior to be named CIS’ top rookie since the Peter Gorman Trophy was first presented in 1976.

The 5-foot-11, 215-pound freshman had an immediate impact in his university debut as he led the Warriors with 52.5 total tackles and 44 solo tackles, tallies that were good for second place in the OUA and top six in the nation. The 19-year-old, who also played a key role on special teams and got the call as a fullback in short yardage situations, finished second on his team with three sacks and had one interception as he played each of Waterloo’s eight conference games.

“Jordan is quite simply our best football player all around, period. He is the most instinctive linebacker I have coached since Mike O’Shea at Guelph or Mike McCullough and Adam McDonald at StFX, all of whom either graduated to the CFL or are still in the CFL,” said Waterloo head coach Dennis McPhee. “Jordan would not only dress, but start on any team in the CIS, and that is, in my opinion, the easiest and best way to measure a player’s true value.”

Saint Mary’s receiver and return specialist Jahmeek Murray of Mississauga; Bishop’s defensive halfback Harrison Maloney of Thurso, Que.; and Saskatchewan offensive lineman Ben Heenan of Regina were the other finalists for the rookie-of-the-year award.

RUSS JACKSON AWARD – David Hamilton (Toronto)

Hamilton is the first Varsity Blue to receive the prestigious Russ Jackson Award presented since 1986 to a player who exemplifies the attributes of football skill, academic achievement and citizenship.

The fifth-year pivot helped the U of T snap a 49-game losing streak with an 18-17 season-opening win over Waterloo, and had a career day in week three throwing for 465 yards and four touchdowns to garner CIS player-of-the-week honours. He finished the campaign with 2,139 yards through the air, becoming only the second Varsity Blue in history to reach the 2,000-yard plateau after Hec Crighton-winning quarterback Dan Feraday in the early 1980’s.

As a human biology major, Hamilton’s scholastic achievements have been just as impressive. He was a 2007-08 academic all-Canadian, the recipient of the Faculty of Arts and Science Racozki Award (for highest standing in an independent study on international economic history), a two-time recipient of the football award of merit, winner of the 2008 Maynard captain’s award, and a University of Toronto Bronze T-holder award winner for excellence in athletics and academics.

Hamilton volunteers with the Paediatric Ward of the Toronto East General Hospital, where he spends two to four hours per week counselling and entertaining children. He was the top fundraiser for Athletes in Africa in a friendly competition between York University and the University of Toronto, an organizing member of the on-campus Christian organization, Athletes in Action, and a volunteer with the Evergreen Youth Shelter where he spent time counselling at-risk teenagers.

“David is a constant reminder to me personally on how to have balance and perspective in my own life,” said Toronto head coach Greg DeLaval. “I am inspired by the fact he is an outstanding student-athlete who is strong in his faith and a believer in service. He has remained steadfast as a captain of the Varsity Blues during an extremely adverse period of time for the program. He is a special person that handles adversity and leadership very well.”

StFX defensive tackle and science student Harrison Petropolis of Halifax; Sherbrooke fullback and civil engineering student Benoit Boulanger of Sherbrooke, Que.; and Regina quarterback and business administration student Teale Orban of Regina were also nominated for the Russ Jackson Award.

Orban was the Canada West nominee for the second straight year.

HEC CRIGHTON TROPHY NOMINEES (outstanding player):
AUFC: Kelly Hughes (Brampton, Ont.), quarterback, Mount Allison
QUFL: Benoit Groulx (Montreal, Que.), quarterback, Laval (recipient)
OUA: Mike Giffin (Kingston, Ont.), running back, Queen’s

Canada West: Matt Walter (Calgary, Alta.), running back, Calgary

PRESIDENTS' TROPHY NOMINEES (outstanding defensive player):
AUFC: Henoc Muamba (Kinshasa, Congo), linebacker, St. Francis Xavier
QUFL: Joash Gesse (Montreal, Que.), linebacker, Montreal
OUA: Thaine Carter (Nanaimo, B.C.), linebacker, Queen’s (recipient)

Canada West: Andrea Bonaventura (Hamilton, Ont.), linebacker, Calgary

J.P. METRAS TROPHY NOMINEES (outstanding down lineman):
AUFC: Steve Myddelton (Barrie, Ont.), offensive tackle, St. Francis Xavier
QUFL: Étienne Légaré (St-Raymond, Que.), defensive tackle, Laval (recipient)
OUA: Osie Ukwuoma (Mississauga, Ont.), defensive end, Queen’s

Canada West: Scott McCuaig (Surrey, B.C.), defensive end, UBC

PETER GORMAN TROPHY NOMINEES (rookie of the year):
AUFC: Jahmeek Murray (Mississauga, Ont.), receiver & returns, Saint Mary’s
QUFL: Harrison Maloney (Thurso, Que.), defensive halfback, Bishop’s
OUA: Jordan Verdone (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.), linebacker, Waterloo (recipient)

Canada West: Ben Heenan (Regina, Sask.), offensive lineman, Saskatchewan

RUSS JACKSON AWARD NOMINEES (student-athlete community service):
AUFC: Harrison Petropolis (Halifax, N.S.), defensive tackle / science, St. Francis Xavier
QUFL: Benoit Boulanger (Sherbrooke, Que.), fullback / civil engineering, Sherbrooke
OUA: David Hamilton (Mississauga, Ont.), quarterback / human biology, Toronto (recipient)
Canada West: Teale Orban (Regina, Sask.), quarterback / business administration, Regina


HEC CRIGHTON TROPHY (Outstanding Player)

2007 Erik Glavic, Saint Mary’s, QB

2006 Daryl Stephenson, Windsor, RB

2005 Andy Fantuz, Western Ontario, REC
2004 Jesse Lumsden, McMaster, RB
2003 Tommy Denison, Queen's, QB
2002 Tommy Denison, Queen's, QB
2001 Ben Chapdelaine, McMaster, QB
2000 Kojo Aidoo, McMaster, RB
1999 Phil Côté, Ottawa, QB
1998 Éric Lapointe, Mount Allison, RB
1997 Mark Nohra, UBC, RB
1996 Éric Lapointe, Mount Allison, RB
1995 Don Blair, Calgary, REC
1994 Bill Kubas, Wilfrid Laurier, QB
1993 Tim Tindale, Western, FB
1992 Eugene Buccigrossi, Toronto, QB
1991 Tim Tindale, Western, FB
1990 Chris Flynn, Saint Mary's, QB
1989 Chris Flynn, Saint Mary's, QB
1988 Chris Flynn, Saint Mary's, QB
1987 Jordan Gagner, UBC, QB
1986 Blake Marshall, Western, RB
1985 Larry Mohr, Queen's, RB
1984 Phil Scarfone, McMaster, QB
1983 Greg Vavra, Calgary, QB
1982 Rick Zmich, Ottawa, QB
1981 Dan Feraday, Toronto, QB
1980 Greg Marshall, Western, RB
1979 Scott Mallender, Windsor, QB
1978 Jamie Bone, Western, QB
1977 Bob Cameron, Acadia, QB/P/K
1976 Bob Stracina, Acadia, REC/K
1975 Brian Fryer, Alberta, REC
1974 Al Charuk, Acadia, FS
1973 Dave Pickett, Saskatchewan, QB
1972 Andrew Parici, Windsor, QB
1971 Mel Smith, Alberta, REC
1970 Paul Paddon, Ottawa, QB
1969 Dave Fleiszer, McGill, FB
1968 Mike Raham, Toronto, RB
1967 Mike Eben, Toronto REC

PRESIDENTS’ TROPHY (Outstanding Defensive Player)

2007 Mat Nesbitt, Regina

2006 Patrick Donovan, Concordia
2005 Patrick Donovan, Concordia
2004 Mickey Donovan, Concordia
2003 Neil McKinlay, Simon Fraser
2002 Adam MacDonald, StFX
2001 David Stipe, Bishop's
2000 Joey Mikawoz, Manitoba
1999 Mike Letendre, Saskatchewan
1998 Warren Muzika, Saskatchewan
1997 Jason Van Geel, Waterloo
1996 Derek Krete, Western
1995 Paul Frlan, StFX
1994 Cory Delaney, Waterloo
1993 Lou Tiro, Toronto
1992 Alex Eliopoulos, Saint Mary's
1991 Ray Bernard, Bishop's
1990 Randy Power, Mount Allison
1989 Mark Singer, Alberta
1988 Leroy Blugh, Bishop's
1987 Brent Lewis, Western
1986 Mark Norman, UBC
1985 Darcy Kopp, Calgary
1984 Larry Oglesby, Mount Allison
1983 Tom Timlin, Carleton
1982 Mike Emery, UBC
1981 Mike Emery, UBC
1980 Rich Payne, Wilfrid Laurier

J.P. METRAS TROPHY (Outstanding Down Lineman)

2007 Scott Evans, Wilfrid Laurier

2006 Chris Best, Waterloo

2005 Dominic Picard, Laval
2004 Troy Cunningham, Concordia
2003 Ibrahim Khan, Simon Fraser
2002 Israel Idonije, Manitoba
2001 Carl Gourgues, Laval
2000 Randy Chevrier, McGill
1999 Tyson St. James, UBC
1998 Garret Everson, Calgary
1997 Mike Kushnir, StFX
1996 James Repesse, Saskatchewan
1995 Harry Van Hofwegen, Carleton
1994 Paul Connery, Bishop's
1993 Paul Chesser, Concordia
1992 Chris Konrad, Calgary
1991 Jason Rauhaus, Manitoba
1990 Chris Morris, Toronto
1989 Chris Gioskos, Ottawa
1988 Veron Stiliadis, Wilfrid Laurier
1987 Pierre Vercheval, Western
1986 Louie Godry, Guelph
1985 Mike Schad, Queen's
1984 Boyd Young, Ottawa
1983 Jim DeSilva, Carleton
1982 Peter Langford, Guelph
1981 Tony Grassa, StFX
1980 Scott McArthur, Calgary
1979 Jim Muller, Queen's
1978 Dave Willox, Alberta
1977 Dick Bakker, Queen's
1976 Gerry Inglis, Alberta
1975 Mark Pothier, Saint Mary's
1974 Bart Evans, Manitoba

PETER GORMAN TROPHY (Rookie of the Year)

2007 Liam Mahoney, Concordia

2006 Dalin Tollestrup, Calgary

2005 Martin Gagné, Montréal
2004 Kyle Williams, Bishop's
2003 Maxime Gagnier, Montréal
2002 Andy Fantuz, Western
2001 Jeremy Steeves, StFX
2000 Jean-Frédéric Tremblay, Laval
1999 Sébastien Roy, Mount Allison
1998 Kojo Aidoo, McMaster
1997 Paul Carty, StFX
1996 Jeff Johnson, York
1995 Éric Lapointe, Mount Allison
1994 Andre Arlain, StFX
1993 Jerome Pathon, Acadia
1992 Sean Reade, Western
1991 Dominic Zagari, Manitoba
1990 Bill Kubas, Wilfrid Laurier
1989 Chris Banton, Ottawa
1988 Grant Keaney, Mount Allison
1987 Dan Farthing, Saskatchewan
1986 Michael Soles, McGill
1985 Mark Brown, Carleton
1984 Jeff Funtasz, Alberta
1983 Paul Nastasiuk, Wilfrid Laurier
1982 Mike Fabilli, Ottawa
1981 Glenn Steele, UBC
1980 John Hutchinson, Mount Allison
1979 Joey Tynes, StFX
1978 John Lowe, Guelph
1977 Gord Goodwin, Calgary
1976 Jim Reid, Wilfrid Laurier

RUSS JACKSON AWARD (athletics, academics, community involvement)

2007 Clovis Langlois-Boucher, Sherbrooke

2006 Naim El-Far, Ottawa

2005 Dan Parker, Mount Allison
2004 Nathan Beveridge, UBC
2003 Curt McLellan, Queen's
2002 Lincoln Blumell, Calgary
2001 Josh Alexander, Wilfrid Laurier
2000 Carlo Panaro, Alberta
1999 Carlo Panaro, Alberta
1998 Jean-Philippe Darche, McGill
1997 Sam Stetsko, Alberta
1996 Sean O'Neill, Carleton
1995 Ted MacLean, Saint Mary's
1994 Steve Papp, McGill
1993 David Sykes, Saint Mary's
1992 David Sykes, Saint Mary's
1991 J.P. Veri, McGill
1990 J.P. Veri, McGill
1989 Jock Climie, Queen's
1988 Andrew Allison, Mount Allison
1987 Elio Geremia, Calgary
1986 Charlie Galunic, Queen's


For more information contact:

Michel Bélanger
Communications Manager
Canadian Interuniversity Sport
Ph: (613) 562-5670 ext. 2
Cell: (613) 447-6334
Fax: (613) 562-5669



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