(Vancouver) The BC Lions Football Club is pleased to announce that linebacker Solomon Elimimian has been named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player for 2016 and receiver Marco Iannuzzi has earned the Tom Pate Award for his dedication to community service.
For Elimimian, it’s the second time in the past three seasons he has earned the league’s top defensive honour. The hard-hitting seven-year veteran had a historic and remarkable return from a season-ending injury in 2015, leading all CFL defenders with 129 tackles while also adding eight sacks. This is Solomon’s fourth career Outstanding Player award and he now joins former Lions Bill Baker, James Parker and Cam Wake as a two-time winner in the defensive player category.
“I’m tremendously proud of this award tonight,” said Elimimian. “The hours it took to return to the field were long and the work required to reach this level again was tremendously difficult, but tonight would not possible without the help of my teammates, coaches and support staff. This is a reflection on all of our efforts and I’m honoured to accept it on behalf of our entire organization.”
Recognition of BC Lions at the annual CFL Awards taking place in Toronto this evening wasn’t limited to their efforts on the gridiron however, as wide receiver Marco Iannuzzi was awarded the prestigious Tom Pate Award for community service. A tireless contributor to many of the club’s community programs as well as undertaking countless charitable endeavors on his own, Marco was a worthy
“It’s special to me and my family because of the sacrifice of time,” said Iannuzzi. “Every time I go to an event I’m taken away from my family. To be rewarded is not why I am doing it, but to see the league recognize the sacrifice and time I’ve put in means a lot to me, my wife and kids.”