Gee-Gees kick off on Monday

After two weeks of training camp the OUA regular season gets underway on Labour Day Monday, with the uOttawa Gee-Gees hosting the York Lions at 1 p.m. as part of a five game opening day.  The Gee-Gees embark on their second season under head coach Jamie Barresi and the second at the new Gee-Gees Field, hosting all home games at 200 Lees Avenue.

Last season Ottawa went 3-1 at the new home field, helping the squad to a 5-3 overall record. The Gee-Gees visited York last season and dealt the Lions a 46-16 defeat, holding the Lions to one first quarter touchdown along with a trio of field goals.

Running back Errol Brooks did most of the damage for York last season, especially against Ottawa, posting 199 yards against the garnet and grey. But Brooks has moved on this season, and York is in the same position as Ottawa, seeking to replace an elite running back at the same time as their quarterback.

Derek Wendel, Mack Tommy, and Bryce Vieira are expected to fill those positional voids for Ottawa. Wendel turned in an impressive performance against York a year ago with an 18-for-27 passing day for 297 yards and four touchdowns. The Belleville, Ont. native, now in his fourth year with the program, gets the call to start this season with Hunter Robinson and Victor Twynstra waiting in the wings.

Tommy, an Ottawa native, was second to now CFL-er Brendan Gillanders for the past two seasons at running back, chewing up 6.2 yards per rush last year, while Vieira comes to Ottawa via the Vanier College Cheetahs and is regarded as one of the top prospects of the 2014 class.

Ottawa will also benefit from the return of Taylor Servais, Joe Adesina, and Adam Valchuk on the offensive line, while receivers Ian Stewart, Nicolas Dagher, and Vincent Campbell have all proved to very dangerous in the past. Campbell burned the Lions for 130 return yards last season, including a 74 yard return and a 45 yard touchdown run.

Defensively the Gee-Gees are led by the reigning CIS sack leader, Ettore Lattanzio, who was named to the All-Canadian team in 2013. The fourth-year lineman has the national record of 12 in his sights, and is rejoined on the line by veteran Andrew Randall who returns after missing the entire 2013 season due to injury. Also back from injury is linebacker Nick Lecour, while the secondary features returning starters Randy Williams, Dustin Wilson, and Zach Wilkinson.

Kickers Dominic Bellardini and Lewis Ward return for their sophomore seasons.

The Lions have already travelled to Ottawa this August, meeting the Carleton Ravens for an exhibition game last Saturday. The Lions fell flat, dropping the tune-up by a 53-11 score.

The game will be broadcast live on TSN1200,, and Algonquin College Radio.

(Source:  Ottawa Gee-Gees Sports Information)


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