Saskatchewan Huskies season preview

Photo credit: Josh Schaefer Photography

2015 regular season record: 3-5
2015 regular season standings: 4th in Canada West
2015 playoff record: 0-1
2015 playoff finish: Lost 37-29 to Calgary Dinos in Canada West semifinal

A mighty contender on the rise, the youthful University of Saskatchewan Huskie football team will look to make waves in the Canada West in 2016.

Showing its potential in spurts in the 2015 season, the Huskies defeated the eventual Vanier Cup champion UBC Thunderbirds, as well as nearly upset the No. 1 seeded University of Calgary Dinos in a conference semifinal.

Returning the bulk of the 2015 squad, Saskatchewan opens the season on September 2 against bitter provincial rival the Regina Rams at Griffiths Stadium in PotashCorp Park.

Head Coach: Brian Towriss

  • Number of seasons as head coach with team (including 2016): 33
  • Number of seasons as head coach in CIS (including 2016): 33
  • Career regular season record with team: 162-93-1
  • Career regular season record in CIS: 162-93-1
  • Career overall record with team (reg. season & playoffs only): 190-113-1
  • Career overall record in CIS (reg. season & playoffs only): 190-113-1



Number of returning starters: 10

Key returning players:

Quarterbacks Drew Burko and Kyle Siemens return to guide the Huskies from the pocket. Splitting time in 2015, Burko, who enters his final year of eligibility completed 117-of-206 attempts for 1725 yards and nine touchdowns. Siemens went 76-for-127 for 1099 yards and six touchdowns in his rookie year. Burko played a series in a preseason game with the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes in June.

CIS All-Canadian Mitch Hillis will look to return to 2015 form. In 2015, Hillis tallied 1052 yards on 66 catches for seven touchdowns. He set Huskie Athletics records in yards and catches in a single season. Burko and Siemens will also have Julan Lynch as a prime target at wide receiver. Tackle Evan Johson leads a veteran offensive line.

Running backs Jarvis James and Tyler Chow return to a backfield that shared carries in 2015.

Key recruits or transfers: Colton Klassen (RB), Chad Braun (Rec), Evan Kopchynski (Rec), Mike Palumbo (OL) Nick Summach (OL)

Key losses: John Trumpy (Rec), Matt Leung (OL), Mat Czerniak (C), Andrew Lalonde (RB)


Number of returning starters: 7

Key returning players:

Leading the charge on defence is fifth-year defensive lineman Donovan Dale. Transferring to the Huskies from the UBC Thunderbirds in 2015, Dale was named a CIS All-Canadian for the third time after recording 36 tackles, eight sacks and three forced fumbles.  Experience on the defensive line will also come from Brayden Twarynski, Tristan Koronkiewicz and Evan Machibroda. Sophomore standouts Ben Whiting, who was an all-star at the 2016 IFAF World Junior Championship, and Eric Thakerdeen will anchor a young but talented linebacking corps.

Key recruits or transfers: Matt Kozun (DL), Nathan Cherry (DL), Quinn Pierce (LB), Joel Seiferling (DB)

Key losses: Chris Friesen (DB), Dane Bishop (LB), Geoff Hughes (LB)


Key returning player: Sean Stenger (P/K)

– University of Saskatchewan Huskies Athletics

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