SFU: Gatland GNAC Freshman of Year, Cobb All-Conference 2nd Team

PORTLAND, Ore. – Simon Fraser University offensive lineman Brayden Gatland has been named Great Northwest Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year and wide receiver Gavin Cobb was named to the All-Conference Second Team as a kick returner.

In addition, three Simon Fraser players received All-Conference Honourable Mention, senior wide receiver Justin Buren, and junior defensive linemen Brad Lyons and Kyle Wilson.

Gatland started all season for the Clan at tackle, one of four freshmen to start along the Clan’s offensive line. Recognizing the challenges of being a true freshman starter along the offensive line, conference coaches honoured Gatland with the Freshman of the Year honour. He was the only freshman offensive linemen among the GNAC All-Conference selections, which were loaded with juniors and seniors.

A year ago, Gatland was playing for high school football for Clayton Heights in Surrey.

Cobb, a native of Victoria, BC and product of the Mount Douglas football program, was as dangerous and electric a kick-returner as there was in the GNAC. He tied for the conference lead with Humboldt State senior running back Ja’Quan Gardner, both averaging 21.7 yards per return and each scoring 1 touchdown on a return.

Against Western Oregon in Week 6, Cobb returned a kick-off a school record 99-yards for a TD, erasing the 40-year old record held by former CFL great Rick House set in 1977. The return was one yard short of the GNAC record. Cobb finished second to Gardner in all-purpose yards, averaging 139.2 yards per game compared to 192 for Gardner.

Buren, from Coquitlam and Centennial Secondary, finished with 42 receptions for 483 yards and 1 TD. He was fourth in the conference averaging 4.7 yards per catch and fifth with 53.7 yards per game.

Lyons, from Port Coquitlam and Terry Fox, had 3 sacks and 9.5 tackles for a loss while recording 34 tackles in 9 games. Wilson, from New Market, ON, had 8 tackles for a loss, 1 sack and 28 tackles in 10 games.

In a year where there were a number of high-caliber offensive performers, it was the Humboldt State senior running back Gardner that rose to the top as the GNAC Offensive Player of the Year. Gardner also earned All-Conference First Team honours at both running back and kick return after another stellar season. He is joined in the special awards by teammate and senior offensive lineman Alex Cappa, who was named the conference’s Offensive Lineman of the Year for the fourth consecutive year.

Conference champion Central Washington landed 10 players on the all-conference first team and collected four special awards. Senior linebacker Kevin Haynes was named the GNAC Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive year while senior Bo Banner was voted as the Defensive Lineman of the Year. Junior transfer quarterback Reilly Hennessey was selected as the Newcomer of the Year while head coach Ian Shoemaker was named by his peers as the Coach of the Year.


Source: Steve Frost, Sports Information Director ([email protected])

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