The Marauders look for a repeat season (2012 OUA Preview)

Ontario University Athletics is the largest and most prestigious of all of the conferences in the CIS. The OUA is the home of some of the oldest teams in North America with three teams created before the 1900s. Football began with universities and colleges and in Canada some of the first teams from universities were located in Ontario. These schools carved out the rules and regulations of the game to create what we see today. Schools like the McMaster Marauders (est. 1901), Ottawa Gee Gees (est. 1894), and Queen’s Golden Gaels (est. 1884) played an important role in the development of football in North American. There may be no team that has had a bigger impact than one the oldest team in North America in the University of Toronto Varsity Blues. The Varsity Blues won the first ever Grey Cup Championship in 1909 and won the first ever Vanier Cup in 1965. The Blues have their named stamped all over the history of Canadian Football but they have not translated this history into recent success. The OUA, for all of its history and legacy, has still been one of the most competitive conferences in the CIS. There have been three different champions in the past three years for the OUA showing that teams are much more even than once before. There are still the beasts of the conference of course with the Western Mustangs sitting at the top of the conference for years. Still new teams are beginning to show that they can topple the Mustangs for the Yates Cup and when they do they usually go on to win the Vanier Cup. It is a challenging conference to come out of with so many teams all looking for their shot at the legendary Yates Cup. When teams do come out of the division they are always looking for the next level in the Vanier Cup and all have a good shot. This year looks to be another great one with teams that continue to improve and look much better than ever. With one more year for many teams to build the top spot could be up for grabs with 10 teams fighting for six playoff spots in the biggest and most competitive conference in the CIS.

 

Guelph Gryphons

 

 

 

The Guelph Gryphons have a pretty strong tradition of winning in the OUA but their 2011 season was extremely disappointing. The Gryphons went in to 2011 with high hopes as their team featured a number of good players that should have been able to make the playoffs if not challenge for the conference. The season started poorly as the Gryphons opened the season with a blowout loss to Ottawa and the season continued to fall apart. The Gryphons could only manage to win two games all season as they finished well outside of the playoffs race in a very disappointing year. The Gryphons will go into 2012 with a young team but one of the few young teams with some great potential. A good recruiting class from 2011 and one of the two best recruiting classes in the OUA for 2012 have made the Gryphons an exception to the rule that inexperienced teams generally don’t fare well. The offence has 10 returning starters from last year but that does not tell the full story as a number of these starters will be in their second year. This includes QB Jazz Lindsey who started halfway through the 2011 season but showed some promising signs. One of the best options for Lindsey will be his older brother Saxon who emerged as a true threat in 2011 and should be an essential part to the Guelph passing game. At running back the Gryphons will have Rob Farquharson back for his second year as will get to show his ability as a featured back for the first time. On the defence the Linebacking corps will be the key as Jake Reinhart and John Rush lead the team and could be joined by top CIS recruit Pat McGrath. On the line Cam Thorn will return for his 4th year and will likely be joined by recruit Zack Mallough. The secondary is the one team most hit by the graduating class with three DBs no longer with the team. The Gryphons will see a return of a couple Defensive Backs though as Mark Durigon and Bryan Dunjko will be back and will be joined by the very athletic recruit Colin Mandich. The defence is clearly in a transition this year with 9 returning starters and a number of recruits that will look to make an impact in their first year. The Guelph Gryphons as a team are looking to recover from their 2011 season and will do it with a young but promising team. With the youth of the team there will be mistakes but that doesn’t mean there isn’t talent as they will probably fight for a playoff spot and may just make it in if everything goes right.

 

One to Watch:
John Rush, LB (Niagara Falls, ON)
– The second year linebacker has already seen tremendous success as he started every game in his rookie season and then joining Team Canada during the U-19 World Championship as he will act as a leader for the defence in Guelph this year

 

Laurier Golden Hawks

 

 

 

 

It wasn’t too long ago that the Golden Hawks were the dominant force in the OUA with back to back Yates Cups in 2004 and 2005. Since that time though the hawks have been in the mix but unable to put together a championship run. Last year the Hawks were sitting just on the edge of the playoffs with one game to go. It came down to the last game as the Golden Hawks were able to get the win while the Varsity Blues lost putting the Golden Hawks into the playoffs. The accomplishment did not last long though as they lost their first playoff game in a close battle with Queen’s University. The 2011 season marked a chance for many of the veteran talent to win a championship but unfortunately it did not pan out. Now in 2012 the Golden Hawks will see many of their veterans gone and an almost entirely new team lining up on the field. It will be a young team this year with many first year starters looking to take over and looking to continue the winning tradition of Laurier. On offence the biggest threat has left for the CFL as wide receiver Shamawd Chambers was drafted in the first round by the Edmonton Eskimos. Joining Chambers on the list of losses will be receiver Dillon Heap and QB Shane Kelly. In their places will be returning wideouts Alex Anthony and Russ Jirgens as well as NCAA transfer Travis Eman in a passing game with a lot of questions. The running game will have some experience though as Anton Bennett returns for his fourth year with the help of second year RB Dillon Campbell. It is still not something to lean on though as both backs have had moments of great play yet have not been able to really make an impact. On defence the Hawks will see a little more stability with two solid veterans remaining to lead the team. Linebackers Mitchell Bosch and Carlos Naranjo will both be returning for their fifth year on the Golden Hawks and are both coming off of career years. Other than these two the defence will be pretty fresh with the loss of defensive back Shane Herbert and linebacker Samuel Aird sure to have an effect on the team. One big positive for the Hawks this year will be the return of their kick returner Felix Odum who was one of the best in the country in 2011. Laurier has had a long history of making the playoffs as they have not missed the postseason in 9 years but this year the streak may be broken. A team that barely made the playoffs last year will enter a year with very few of their old leaders and although the recruit class was a good one they will not fill the holes left by the veterans. Expect the Golden Hawks to have a rough year with their young inexperienced team taking a beating and missing the playoffs.

 

One to Watch:
Alex Anthony, WR (Victoria, BC)
– After Shamawd Chambers left for the CFL the reigns were essentially handed over the Anthony who should serve as the go-to guy in the passing game as he will be the leader on a team with many young players

 

McMaster Marauders

 

 

 

 

 

The Marauders went into the 2011 season as a team that could be near the top of the conference but may struggle to beat the best teams in the conference like the Mustangs. Somebody forgot to tell the Marauders this though as they had a strong regular season going 7-1 and finishing tied for first place. The Marauders worked through the playoffs fairly easily as they outscored their opponents 81-32 in their two OUA playoff games. Moving on to the national playoffs the Marauders continued to run through everyone beating the Acadia Axemen 45-21 in the Uteck Bowl. This gave them the chance to win their first Vanier Cup but they would need to take on the Laval Rouge et Or to do so. In one of the best football games ever played the Marauders came out on top to become the Vanier Cup Champions for 2011. For the Marauders 2012 is an essential year to return to the national finals as they will see a number of veteran players playing in their last year before they graduate and move on from the program. This includes their offensive and team leader Kyle Quinlan who almost did not make it back to Hamilton after spending his summer as a member of the Montreal Alouettes. Quinlan will lead the charge for an offence that will return some of the key contributors to the Vanier Cup season. Quinlan will have his two favorite targets back in the offence as Michael DiCroce and Sam Fochesato both return for another year. In the backfield there had been little change until OUA All-Star Chris Pezzetta suffered a knee injury in the preseason. In his place will be Jimmy Hill who has plenty of experience as a relief back for Pezzetta last year. On defence the Marauders will see their biggest change as they have lost the heart of their defensive line. Mackenzie Dent, Roberto Filice, and Scott Caterine all graduated leaving a hole in the defence. The remaining veterans will be Tanvir Bhangu and Ben D’Aquilar who have had limited playing time and will represent a big question mark for the Marauders this season. In the linebacking corps the Marauders will return a number of veterans including Trevor Gary and Trevor Beaton but the most exciting return will be Aram Eisho who won the defensive player of the game in the Vanier Cup. In the secondary the Marauders will also see a number of veterans return including Mike Daly, Joey Cupido, and Stephen Dennis. Overall the Marauders defence will have a number of veterans returning despite having some holes that will need to be filled. The Marauders are the defending Vanier Cup champions and they will act like that this season with the return of Kyle Quinlan enough to say that they will likely be back on top. They will fight for the top spot this year again and may not get the #1 spot but they will get the bye and have a chance at the national picture.

 

One to Watch:
Kyle Quinlan, QB (South Woodslee, ON)
– Coming off of a summer where he learned from the best QB in Canada as a member of the Montreal Alouettes Quinlan is the key to this team as he will be the difference between the Marauders making the national playoffs or not

 

Ottawa Gee Gees

 

 

 

 

The Ottawa Gee Gees have been one of the more recent successful teams in the OUA as they have put together a long streak. In 2000 the Gee Gees continued a long run of success and reached the top of the CIS world winning the Vanier Cup. Usually a team would falter after winning the championship especially in university sports. Teams are changed so much over the course of the seasons that it is hard to continue having success when many veterans are gone. For Ottawa though it was the opposite. The 2000 Vanier Cup championship just launched a streak for the Gee Gees. They have yet to miss the playoffs since the 2000 Vanier Cup as they have consistently played well enough to make it into the playoffs. It has not always been successful though as many year the Gee Gees were in for a short time before being eliminated. This is what happened in 2011 as the Gee Gees once again made it into the OUA playoffs but could not get past the Windsor Lancers in the quarter-finals. In 29012 though the Gee Gees are looking to build on a 5-3 season and prevent being disappointed again. This year the biggest change for Ottawa will be their head coach as former CFL veteran coach Gary Etcheverry takes over on the sidelines with a new perspective for many of the players. On offence all of the key contributors from last year are back including starting QB Aaron Colbon and his favorite target Simon le Marquand. Both of these players had their growing pains last year and still managed to put together a potent attack. Along with veteran running back Brendan Gillanders the Gee Gees look to have a strong offence that is balanced enough to carry the team. On defence there will be no change as all 12 starters from last year will be back with one more year under their belts. In 2011 the defence was an inexperienced one but with everyone returning this year proves to be much better. Led by fifth year linebacker Tyler Sawyer and defensive lineman Ettore Lattanzio the Gee Gees are experienced and solid up front. It is the secondary that really helps this team though as the Gee Gees led the CIS in forced turnovers in large part thanks to a secondary that made it a bad day for every QB. Matt Bond-Lapointe and Chris Daly are the key figures in the defensive backfield with the ability to turn any mistake into a turnover. It is clear that the 2012 version of the Gee Gees are an experienced group and after 12 seasons in the playoffs it is hard to say that they won’t make it again. In fact after a 5-3 season with a young team the Gee Gees are looking poised to battle for the top spot once again this year. With so much experience and a great coaching staff expect the Gee Gees to walk into the playoffs near the top maybe even earning a first round bye in the playoffs.

 

One to Watch:
Simon le Marquand, WR (Gatineau, QC)
– Marquand was a backup receiver for his first two years in the CIS but in 2011 he showed that he deserves to be front and centre in the Gee Gee offence amassing 867 yards good for second in the CIS as he will be a key leader in the 2012 campaign

 

Queen’s Golden Gaels

 

 

 

 

 

The Golden Gaels are another member of the OUA that has been around for generations as one of the first football teams in North America. As a result of this the Gaels have been one of the few teams to win a Grey Cup along with a Vanier Cup. Their latest victory came in 2009 when the Gaels rode an unbelievable season to win their 4th Vanier Cup. It was a great year but for the Gaels the success didn;t carry through to the next few years. The Golden Gaels have been in the playoffs since their 2009 championship but they have failed to make it very far. This year they will look to get back to the success of 2009 as they hope to return to the national stage. The 2012 version of the Golden Gaels is an experienced one with 20 starters returning for another year. On offence the Gaels focus on the run with Ryan Granberg at the forefront of the offence. Granberg led the CIS in rushing yards last season with a breakout year and hopes to do the same this year and to help the Gaels back to the National playoffs. The passing game is led by second year starter Billy McPhee who will try to bring some balance to the Queen’s offence. McPhee will have a few weapons to pass to this season as well with CFL draft pick Giovanni Aprile and second year receiver Justin Chapdelaine. This trio should provide a good passing game as they will have one more aspect to their offence. On defence the Gaels will also be a team full of veteran talent that is sure to be a solid squad once again. Last year the defence was a big reason to the success as they did not allow a rushing touchdown all season. They go into the 2012 season riding a 137:39 shutout streak in the regular season. The Gaels did lose Frank Pankewich and Osie Ukwouma from the defensive line but there will be two solid young players to fill their shoes. John Miniaci and Derek Wiggan will take over as the leaders on the line with the two veterans gone. In the linebacking corps the Gaels will be led by Second Team All-Canadian Sam Sabourin who will be a great leader in the second level. The defensive secondary will be another great part to this defence with Second Team All-Canadian Andrew Lue and fourth year T.J. Chase-Dunawa. The mix of veterans with a few younger players for the defence means that the Gaels will once again be hard to score on. They may not be as stingy as last year but they will remain tough. There are better teams out there that will challenge the Gaels as they will likely need to fight through a lot to get back to the championship. Playoffs are a good bet for the Gaels but further than that will take a little bit of luck.

 

One to Watch:
Billy McPhee, QB (Burlington, ON)
– The last time the Gaels won a Vanier Cup they were led by one of the best QBs in the league and now Billy McPhee looks to become that QB as he hopes to build on a great 2011 to become one of the best QBs in the CIS

 

Toronto Varsity Blues

 

 

 

 

 

The Varsity Blues are clearly the most legendary team in the CIS as winners of the Grey Cup and Vanier Cups before any of them were household names. Lately though the Blues have been in some trouble as their legendary status seemed to haunt them more than it helped them. The Blues struggled to even find one win in the early 2000s as they went 0-48 from 2002-2007. But in 2008 the program began to find a bit more of a rhythm as they finally started to win. Then in 2011 they got closer than ever to breaking the playoff drought as they missed by two points on the last weekend. This year the Blues look to take that momentum and run with it to end a long playoff drought. Unfortunately for them it does not look too promising with a very big graduating class leaving for the real world. The Blues will suffer in a big way with a number of key players leaving with some moving on after their eligibility ran out and others moving to the CFL. On offence the team will need to move on from the Andrew Gillis era as the veteran QB graduated leaving Richard Quittenton to take over the offence. He will have some experienced receivers in Alex Pierzchalski and Paul de Pass to lean on in the passing game. A stint at Toronto Argonauts Training Camp should also provide Quittenton with a little more knowledge that he can use this year. In the backfield will be Daci Emiljano who led the team with a 7.4 yard average last year despite the run game not being a focal point for the team. The hardest area of the team for the Blues will be the defence as linebacker Wilkerson DeSouza left for the CFL while cornerbacks Dorian Munroe and Willie Sharpe graduated. It will be hard to fill these shoes for the young and inexperienced replacements. One of these replacements will be Kevin Kinahan who showed signed of life last year recording 20 tackles and earning 2 interceptions. If he continues to grow in his role he could be an impact player. Meanwhile filling the biggest shoes will be Broc Elliott who will need to replace Wilkerson DeSouza and lead the linebacking corps alongside Chris Johnson. The defensive line will need to step it up as well with James Bodanis and Everton Williams have mediocre years last year. The defence is in trouble for the Blues this year as many key players are no longer there. It will now be up to a group of veteran players to help lead the team together. It will be a tough year for the Blues and although the hope is high the momentum that had been built might fall away. The Blues have some good prospects for the upcoming season but they are just too inexperienced to win at a consistent rate. They will not return to their 0-8 season but they will continue the playoff drought as they will sit on the outside once again.

 

One to Watch:
Alex Pierzchalski, WR (London, ON)
– Pierzchalski went through a lot of battling to get his reps in 2011 and still ranked amongst the top 15 receivers in the OUA and now in 2012 he will be the featured receiver with a new QB as he looks to lead the offence into the playoffs for the first time in years

 

Waterloo Warriors

 

 

 

 

 

The Waterloo Warriors are a team that has been the centre of a lot of controversy over the last few years. In 2010 the Warriors had their season cancelled after a number of players were found to be using steroids. After one of the players had a stash of PEDs found in his locker the CIS decided that the program needed to be fixed. 2011 marked the return of football to Waterloo but after one entire year without a recruiting class and without a season the welcome back was not too great. The team went 0-8 in the 2011 season as an entirely new team was assembled with no real experience in any facet of the game. This year the Warriors are one more year removed from their suspension with one more recruiting class under their belt. Any holdovers that the Warriors did have from their non-season are now mostly graduated leaving very few veteran starters left for the team. Starting QB Evan Martin is no longer there along with leading receiver Dustin Zender leaving Brian Chris and Nick Anapolsky to lead the offence. Both players have had their time last year to learn the offence and will hope to step up their performance to create a potent offence. In the backfield will be one of the most experienced players on the team in Marco Visentin who ran for 172 yards last year. The best part of the offence for the Warriors will be their offensive line though as Matt Vonk leads a group of big blockers who may be able to provide a little more time for the offence to work itself out. On defence the team is in a little better shape as no big impact players left the team this year. Instead the defence will stay generally intact but the defence was not good last year allowing some massive scores. The Warriors are hoping that the year of experience many first time starters received last year will help them in 2012. Leaders like defensive back Brad Morton and defensive lineman Djordje Gavrilovic will need to step up and become the heart of the team. For Greg Zaitz the year of experience was a good one as he took home 38 tackles on the season as one of the few bright spots on the defence. Zaitz and Brendan Conway, who had 37 tackles last year, represent the future of the program as both are only going into their 2nd year and look to continue improving. The Warriors are in a tough spot in 2012 as they continue to pay for the 2010 controversy and attempt to build a program from the bottom. With a little more experience in the roster the Warriors will be better but better for them may simply be making more games competitive rather than ending with a winning season. This year the Warriors will be out of the playoffs once again and could risk a 0-8 season if they cannot get an inspired performance against a low ranked team.

 

One to Watch:
Matt Vonk, OL (Burlington, ON)
– In a team full of young prospects Vonk represents the small corps of veterans left after the suspension of the 2010 season as he will need to step up as a vocal leader to help out a struggling Warriors team

 

Western Mustangs

 

 

 

 

 

The Western Mustangs have been one of the few consistently dominant teams in the OUA and the CIS. The Mustangs continued their storied tradition in 2011 after only losing one game all season and finishing first in the OUA. They took that momentum into the playoffs were they blew by the rest of the competition and headed to the Yates Cup. There they met an extremely hot team in the McMaster Marauders who ended Western’s run at a second Yates Cup in as many years. This year the Mustangs are looking to be back on top as the Mustangs are at the point were first place is the expectation. Under Greg Marshall the Mustangs have been a force with a great offence and great defence along with stellar recruiting classes. One of the biggest reasons for the latest success of the Mustangs has been the development of starting QB Donnie Marshall. Marshall had a great season last year but could not complete the season after an injury kept him out of the last three games. This year he will be back for his last year under centre and will look to Alex Thibaudeau and Brian Marshall for support in the receiving game. The backfield looks solid too but a little disappointing after CIS rookie of the year Tyler Varga left for the NCAA. With Nathan Riva out of years Garret Sanvido will take over with limited experience as it will be hard to match what Varga did in 2011. Meanwhile on defence the Mustangs will again return a number of key starters and bring up a number of top recruits. The secondary is the clear strength though with First Team All-Canadian Beau Landry at halfback leading the way. He will be joined by second team OUA All-Star Mike Spence and fourth year player Jamie Symianick. Still there will be some holes in the defence with only 6 returning players from last year as the team will need to replace players like David lee, Nick Riva, and Rob Hennesy. The defensive line will feature a top prospect from last year in Daryl Waud who had his season cut short after an injury. Along with Waud will be Rory Connop who transferred to Western from Boise State this year. In the second level the Mustangs will see their biggest drop off with Pawel Kruba one of the only returning players in the linebacking corps from last year. The Mustangs look solid again with a good offence and some good pieces on defence but they will need to lean on their defensive prospects if they hope to repeat their performance from last year. The defence may be a weakness, unless the Mustangs are really telling the truth about their prospects, while the offence will be a tough one to beat. Western may not enjoy the same season as last year but they will make the playoffs again and could be in the mix for a first round bye.

 

One to Watch:
Beau Landry, DB/LB (Kitchener, ON)
– The versatility of Landry helps the Mustangs greatly as he is a fast and strong DB and LB and in only his third year of eligibility the 2012 season will represent a chance to put his name on the map for upcoming drafts

 

Windsor Lancers

 

 

 

The Windsor Lancers have yet to make it very far in the OUA as they have possibly the least amount of history ion the conference. With no Vanier Cups and only one Yates Cup, won in 1975, the Lancers are a team that has yet to find their time. In 2011 the Lancers made a campaign to make the 2010s their time. In an offseason that expected little from them the Lancers were able to put together a 5-3 record and moved into the playoffs for the first time in 5 years. Then came the real surprise when the Lancers were able to get past clear favorites Ottawa. With the win Windsor moved on to the Yates Cup semi-finals but their breakout season ended there with a loss to Western. Still the Lancers had a renewed life and in 2012 they look to carry that into a new season where the goal is to take control of the OUA. On offence the Lancers will be led by Austin Kennedy who had a breakout season in 2011 ranking among the top five QBs in the CIS. He will enter his third year with a lot of confidence and some good experience as he looks to lead a potent passing game. On the other end of Kennedy will be a trio of good receivers led by First Team All-Canadian Jordan Brescacin along with Evan Pszczonka and Dylan Whitfield. A strong returning offensive line will also help the passing game as four veterans will return. The backfield was not a focus of the offence and with the loss of Shomari Grant will likely not be much of a weapon this year. Kamar Anglin will likely take over the rushing duties with the most experience out of the three running backs on the team. On defence the Lancers will be returning 11 of their 12 starters but unfortunately for them the one starter that left was their best player. The loss of Seamus Postuma will definitely hurt Windsor and the defensive line. There are no real replacements for Postuma but Garrit Post, Andrew Bakos, and Stephen Miller will all return to the team and look to fill the gaps. The linebacking corps is a different story as the entire lineup returns with Akeem Whonder, John Moynahan, and Brad Adams patrolling the second level. In the secondary the Lancers will also boast a team full of veterans including Second Team All-Canadian half back Matt McGarva who will help to lead the team after a breakout year in 2011. Along with McGarva will be Shea Pierre and Oduko Nwaesei to provide a solid last line of defence. The Lancers did not lose too many of their big playmakers and for that reason they will continue their upward trend. The goal of ruling the OUA is a distance off though as they will have some very tough competition from the top three teams. The Lancers will make the playoffs this year and could even make a run at the Yates Cup but they will still need a number of players to get to a higher level if they hope to make noise in the playoffs.

 

One to Watch:
Matt McGarva, DB (Surrey, BC)
– On a team with 11 starters returning from last year McGarva is the one with the most potential after being named a Second Team All-Canadian last year as he looks to improve on last year to help the Lancers into the playoffs

 

York Lions

 

 

 

 

 

The York Lions are a team that is among the Toronto curse as they are one of the two teams located in Toronto with both teams struggling over the past few years. The Lions have been unable to get out o the basement for years and have also struggle just to get wins. From 2008 to 2010 the Lions could not get a win. Last year marked the first win for the struggling program but it was only one win and was not enough to break a 7 year playoff drought for the Lions. This year the Lions are looking to finally break that streak by making the playoffs for the first time. The Lions are hoping that a mix of veterans and new recruits will push them over the edge in the OUA. On offence the Lions will have a veteran corps of wide receivers that they are hoping will be the key to their return to the playoffs. This veteran corps will include fourth year receiver William Austin, Jonelle Tolbert, Nathaniel Griffith, and Devonte Hobbs. All of these receivers will look to help a new QB under centre as the Lions welcome transfer Myles Gibbon who transferred from the NCAA. Gibbon will take over the offence as he hopes to become a savior to the York Football program. Behind Gibbon will likely be 5th year running back Blair Yachetti to provide some change of pace if the offence needs it. The offence for the Lions is not the best but the addition of QB Myles Gibbon should be an improvement for the team. The defence will be a young one with multiple first or second years in starting roles. They will be led by leading tackler in 2011 and the Frank Cosentino MVP Trophy, York’s highest award, for his rookie year in 2011. This year he will be back with one more year under his belt and hopes to become one of the best linebackers in the CIS. The defensive secondary will see two talented second year players and a veteran leader on the team. Nana Nkanash and Jordan Nugent will start for their second year and will be led by Andrew Collymore. The biggest leader for the team will be on the line though as 5th year defensive end Patrick Russell returns to anchor the line. Russell has been a strong leader for the Lions throughout their struggles and his return will help the rest of the defence adjust. The York defence is a team full of second year starters that will be looking to improve in their sophomore seasons and help the defence. The Lions are once again a team in trouble as they do not have any player on the team that can really break open a game. The Lions may want to make the playoffs but it does not look like they will make it back this year as they continue to stay in the basement of the OUA.

 

One to Watch:
Hussein Hazime, LB (Toronto, ON)
– A week before the 2011 training camp began Hazime walked on to the roster of the York Lions and in his rookie season broke out to be one of the top linebackers in the CIS as he won the Lions’ MVP award as he enters 2012 with a lot of expectation to lead the defence

Prediction:

1. Ottawa Gee Gees

2. McMaster Marauders

3. Western Mustangs

4. Windsor Lancers

5. Queen’s Golden Gaels

6. Guelph Gryphons

7. Toronto Varsity Blues

8. Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks

9. York Lions

10. Waterloo Warriors

 

Quarter-Finals:
Western Mustangs 28 – 21 Guelph Gryphons
– It will be a close game but the inexperience of the Guelph lineup against the experience of the Western veterans will be the difference as the Mustangs will move on to familiar territory as they take one step closer to the national picture

 

Windsor Lancers 31 – 28 Queen’s Golden Gaels
– It just seems that the Lancers are on the rise while the Gaels look to be slightly behind on their path back to the national stage and in a close game the team with the edge will be the Lancers who are poised to make some noise this year

 

Semi-Finals:
Ottawa Gee Gees 34 – 24 Windsor Lancers
– Although the Lancers seem to be on the rise and look like they could be a big threat this year the fact is that the Gee Gees are a more experienced and battle tested team will help them in the end to earn a berth in the Yates Cup

 

McMaster Marauders 32 – 27 Western Mustangs
– In a rematch of the 2011 Yates Cup the Marauders will continue to get the better of the Mustangs as a battle of QBs in Kyle Quinlan and Donnie Marshall who will face off to see who the best QB is in the OUA

Yates Cup:

Ottawa Gee Gees 42 – 38 McMaster Marauders

– The Gee Gees are looking strong this year and despite having to face the defending Vanier Cup champions Ottawa will still come out on top to represent the OUA in the national playoffs as they seem to be the best team in the OUA this year

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  1. […] on the CanWest, the most land. Judging by The Sport Addiction CanWest Conference Preview and the OUA Conference Preview the two teams representing these conferences will be the Calgary Dinos and the Ottawa Gee Gees. […]



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