Montreal’s Caron, StFX’s Cook round out Hec Crighton nominations

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Quarterbacks Samuel Caron from the University of Montreal and Tivon Cook from St. Francis Xavier University
Quarterbacks Samuel Caron from the University of Montreal and Tivon Cook from St. Francis Xavier University round out the nominations for the prestigious Hec Crighton Trophy, which later this month will be presented for the 50th time to the most outstanding player in U Sports football.

The RSEQ and AUS conferences unveiled their season award winners on Friday. The Canada West and OUA recipients were announced Thursday, with pivots Noah Picton from the University of Regina and Derek Wendel from the University of Ottawa earning league-MVP honours.

It marks the first time since the inception of the Hec Crighton in 1967 that all four nominees play the same position.

In his fourth campaign with Montreal but his first as the team’s starting QB, Caron was a model of consistency and was instrumental in the Carabins’ first first-place finish in Quebec since 2004, thanks to a 7-1 league record. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound civil engineering student topped the RSEQ conference and ranked third in the country with a 68.5 completion percentage, and threw nine touchdown passes against only four interception, the second lowest total in the nation among No. 1 pivots. The native of Lévis, Que., who finished the eight-game schedule with 1,831 passing yards and also chipped in on the ground with 300 yards and four rushing majors, is only the second Hec Crighton nominee from the U of M, after running back Rotrand Sené in 2012.

The other RSEQ award winners for the 2016 campaign include Montreal defensive end Jonathan Boissonneault-Glaou (defensive MVP) and Carabins bench boss Danny Maciocia (coach of the year), the Laval duo of defensive end Mathieu Betts (outstanding down lineman) and defensive back Adam Auclair (rookie of the year), as well as Bishop’s linebacker Shayne Cowan-Cholette (Russ Jackson Award nominee).

Cook not only rewrote the StFX record book in his fifth and final campaign on the Antigonish, N.S. campus, he helped the X-Men top the Atlantic standings for the first time since 1997 thanks to a 7-1 mark in league play, including an unblemished 7-0 record versus AUS opponents. The 5-foot-9, 202-pound arts student led the conference and set – or tied – new single-season team standards for passing yards (2,537), touchdown passes (21), completions (174 – tie) and completion percentage (69.3), ranking in the top six nationally in all four categories, including a tie for first place in passing accuracy. The senior from Scarborough, Ont., is the 10th StFX star to be nominated for the Hec Crighton – including running back Ashton Dickson a year ago – and is looking to become the school’s first-ever recipient.

Cook was accompanied in the AUS winners circle by StFX offensive tackle Vernon Sainvil (outstanding down lineman) and X-Men sideline boss Gary Waterman (coach of the year), as well as Saint Mary’s linebacker DeAndre Smith (defensive MVP), Mount Allison quarterback Jakob Loucks (rookie of the year) and Acadia defensive back Will Wojcik (Russ Jackson Award nominee).

The U Sports individual awards will be presented on Nov. 24 in Hamilton, leading up to the ArcelorMittal Dofasco Vanier Cup on Saturday, Nov. 26 at 1 p.m. at Tim Hortons Field (Sportsnet & TVA Sports).

NOTES: The U Sports football conference finals are set for this Saturday, including the Yates Cup at 1 p.m. EST at TD Stadium in London, Ont. (Wilfrid Laurier at Western on CHCH TV & OUA.TV), the Loney Bowl at 2 p.m. AST at Oland Stadium in Antigonish, N.S. (Mount Allison at St. Francis Xavier on Bell Aliant Fibe TV1 & AUStv.ca), the Dunsmore Cup at 2 p.m. EST at CEPSUM Stadium in Montreal (Laval at Montreal on TVA Sports) and the Hardy Cup at 1 p.m. MST at McMahon Stadium in Calgary (UBC at Calgary on Shaw TV / Access & CanadaWest.TV)… The CIS semifinals follow on Saturday, Nov. 19, including the Uteck Bowl at 12:30 p.m. EST (OUA at RSEQ) and the ArcelorMittal Dofasco Mitchell Bowl at 4 p.m. EST (AUS at Canada West) on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.

2016 U SPORTS FOOTBALL AWARD NOMINEES:

HEC CRIGHTON TROPHY (most outstanding player):
AUS: Tivon Cook, quarterback, StFX (Scarborough, Ont. / Arts)
RSEQ: Samuel Caron, quarterback, Montreal (Lévis, Que. / Civil Engineering)
OUA: Derek Wendel, quarterback, Ottawa (Belleville, Ont. / Philosophy)
CWUAA: Noah Picton, quarterback, Regina (Regina, Sask. / Business Administration)

PRESIDENTS’ TROPHY (defensive player of the year)
AUS: DeAndre Smith, linebacker, Saint Mary’s (Dunn, N.C. / Arts)
RSEQ: Jonathan Boisonneault-Glaou, defensive end, Montreal (Lyster, Que. / Mechanical Engineering)
OUA: Nakas Onyeka, linebacker, Wilfrid Laurier (Brampton, Ont. / Communications)
CWUAA: DJ Lalama, linebacker, Manitoba (Winnipeg, Man. / Graduate Studies)

J.P. METRAS TROPHY (outstanding down lineman)
AUS: Vernon Sainvil, offensive tackle, StFX (Malden, Mass. / Arts)
RSEQ: Mathieu Betts, defensive end, Laval (Montreal, Que. / Physical Education & Health)
OUA: Sean Jamieson, offensive tackle, Western (Winnipeg, Man. / Kinesiology)
CWUAA: Geoff Gray, guard, Manitoba (Winnipeg, Man. / Engineering)

PETER GORMAN TROPHY (rookie of the year)
AUS: Jakob Loucks, quarterback, Mount Allison (Cornwall, Ont. / Psychology)
RSEQ: Adam Auclair, defensive back, Laval (Notre-Dame-des-Pins, Que. / Consumer Science)
OUA: Adam Preocanin, kicker, McMaster (Burlington, Ont. / Humanities)
CWUAA: Nicholas Dheilly, defensive tackle, Regina (Regina, Sask. / Arts)

RUSS JACKSON AWARD (football, academics & citizenship)
AUS: Will Wojcik, defensive back, Acadia (Ottawa, Ont. / Kinesiology)
RSEQ: Shayne Cowan-Cholette, linebacker, Bishop’s (Ottawa, Ont. / Education-Drama)
OUA: Mark Mackie, defensive end, McMaster (London, Ont. / Kinesiology)
CWUAA: Cam Teschuk, defensive back, Manitoba (Winnipeg, Man. / Business)

FRANK TINDALL TROPHY (coach of the year)
AUS: Gary Waterman, StFX
RSEQ: Danny Maciocia, Montreal
OUA: Michael Faulds, Wilfrid Laurier
CWUAA: Steve Bryce, Regina

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