U Sports: AUS Team Previews 2017

Acadia Axemen
2016 regular season record: 2-6

2016 regular season standings: Third in AUS

2016 playoff record: 0-1

2016 playoff finish: Lost 27-18 to Mount Allison in Semi-Finals

General Write-Up:

2016 was a difficult year for the Acadia Axemen; winning the first and last game of the season but suffering a few close loses after some difficult injuries. With a banged up offensive line, running back and linebacker cores, putting new pieces into the starting lineup each week made it difficult to find consistency on offense or defense.

The defense managed to produce an All-Canadian free safety in Brandon Jennings, along with two other All-AUS team members in cornerback Garvin Cius, and defensive tackle Adam Melanson. Offensively the Axemen had one All-AUS player in Keiler Cherry.

Look for Acadia to have more consistency offensively with the entire offensive line healthy, and at least ten offensive linemen having a minimum of three starts. A battle will ensue at the quarterback position with a pair of capable veterans returning including senior Cody Cluett and second year pivto Hunter Guenard.

Running backs Dale Wright and Danny Obiang are both healthy and ready to head a two-headed monster in the backfield.

Defensively the Axemen return their entire defensive line, with four fifth-year players. Melanson, Cius, and Jennings are all returning giving Acadia some solid leadership and playmakers across the field.

Special teams will be a strength with many defensive players returning and filling in in those roles.


Quote from head coach: Jeff Cummins

“We’re excited to get another season of Acadia Football underway! If we stay healthy and continue to improve throughout the season we will put ourselves in position for good things to happen. With a strong returning group and some talented rookies we feel like we will be an exciting team to watch in 2017.”


Head Coach: Jeff Cummins

– Number of seasons as head coach with team (including 2017): 15 years

– Number of seasons as head coach in U SPORTS (including 2017): 15 years

– Career regular season record with team: 56 W – 57 L

– Career regular season record in U SPORTS: 56 W – 57 L

– Career overall record with team (reg. season & playoffs only): 62 W – 70 L

– Career overall record in U SPORTS (reg. season & playoffs only): 62 W – 70 L


Number of returning starters: 9

Key returning players: 3

LT Keiler Cherry returns for his 3rd year at Acadia. First team All-AUS left tackle in 2016. Leader on the offensive line, bringing stability and a big presence on the blind side. Entering his final year of eligibility will look to be an offensive emotional leader.

RB Danny Obiang returns for his 2nd season. Averaged five yards per carry in his first season. Led the team in rushing in just five appearances. Former CFC top 100.

OL Ethan Charters enters his 5th campaign after returning from a stint with the Ottawa Redblacks. 2-time All-AUS team on the offensive line.

Key recruits or transfers: 3

QB Mason Brown from Royal Imperial Collegiate (St. Catherines, Ont). CFC Top 100, threw for 38 TDs in 2015.

Bright spot after exhibition play was first year running back Cole Estabrooks (Moncton, NB) who was the leader in yards after exhibition with three carries for 44 yards.

WR Glodin Mulali from Harrison Trimble (Moncton, NB). Harrison Trimble Offensive player of the year. Maritime top prospect MVP Receiver.

WR Scott Watson transfer from Carleton, originally from Montreal, Que.

Key losses: 2

WR Sabastian Robinson

WR Eli Prochnau




Number of returning starters: 9

Key returning players: 3

NT Adam Melanson entering his 5th season. Two-time AUS all-star, invited to East-West Bowl in 2015.

FS Brandon Jennings enters his 4th season. All-Canadian in 2016, Led the nation in interceptions with 6.

CB Garvin Cius returns for his 3rd season. AUS all-star in 2016.

Key recruits or transfers: 3

DL Isaac Melanson, transfer from Guelph. Former CFC Top 100.

DL Anderson Recker from Sir John A. MacDonald (Peggy’s Cove, NS). NSSAFFL Defensive MVP and first team all-star.

DB Noah Laing from Citadel (Halifax, NS). Former Canada Cup Team Nova Scotia member. Defensive MVP and U17 and U19 member.

Key losses: 3

LB Derek Naugler

DB Harland Hastings

DB Will Wojcik



Key returning players: 3

K/P Brandon Jennings

LS Adam Melanson

LB Matt Nettle

Key recruits or transfers: 2

K/P Jarett Saumure

LS Isaac Melanson

Key losses: 2

DB Will Wojcik

LB Derek Naugler



Bishop’s University Gaiters

2016 regular season record: 1-7

2016 regular season standings: 6th in RSEQ

2016 playoff record: N/A

2016 playoff finish: N/A

General Write-Up:

The Bishop’s Gaiters are in a unique position as they enter the 2017 campaign. For the first time in their storied history that dates back to the late 1800’s the Gaiters will step onto the field to compete in the AUS.

Chartered flights and new opponents aren’t the only differences from a year ago for the Lennoxville institution.  Cherif Nicolas was named as the 10th head coach in the modern era of the football program in December.  He’s joined by Pat Boies as the Offensive Coordinator and Jerome Erdman as the Special Teams Coordinator as other key additions to the new staff. Veteran DC Marc Loranger is back for his second season, eighth overall with Bishop’s.

Last year Bishop’s sole win came in thrilling fashion; a last-minute touchdown drive against the St. Mary’s Huskies. The victory sent the Coulter Field faithful home happy during the annual homecoming festivities.

This year Bishop’s starts their new era with a bye in the first week of the season.  They open 2017 in Wolfville, N.S. against the Acadia Axmen.  Their first home game comes a week later when the St. Mary’s Huskies make the trip to La Belle Province. Other key dates for Bishop’s include Sept. 23 when St. Francis Xavier visits for Homecoming and Oct. 7 when Acadia is in town for a rare Thanksgiving-Saturday match-up. On Oct. 21 four Gaiter legends, Francis Bellefroid, Ian Breck, Paul Connery and Tom Europe will be inducted into the RBC Wall of Distinction prior to the Gaiters game against Mount Allison. Finally, the Bigg Bowl will be on the line for the first time since 2009 when the Gaiters travel to Anitgonish, N.S. for a tilt with the X-Men.


Quote from head coach: Cherif Nicolas

“We are going to strive to be the best version of the Bishop’s University football team that we can be,” said Gaiters head football coach Cherif Nicolas. “We are going to work each week and take every opponent as a challenge and opportunity to get better.”


Head Coach: Cherif Nicolas

– Number of seasons as head coach with team (including 2017): 1

– Number of seasons as head coach in U SPORTS (including 2017): 1

– Career regular season record with team: 0-0

– Career regular season record in U SPORTS: 0-0

– Career overall record with team (reg. season & playoffs only): 0-0

– Career overall record in U SPORTS (reg. season & playoffs only): 0-0



Number of returning starters: 9

Key returning players:

REC Michael Nelson returns for the Gaiters.  The big-body receiver possesses all the tools to be successful and is fresh off participating in the East-West Bowl this spring. A year ago he played in four games, catching 12 passes for 200 yards and a touchdown. He also carried the ball six times for 50 yards.

REC Trey Millings-Wilson enters his third year with the Gaiters.  The former Champlain Cougar joins forces with previous rival coach Cherif Nicolas (Cegep Vieux-Montreal) as they look to take the AUS by storm.  Last year Millings-Wilson played in six games catching 14 passes for 181 yards and a touchdown.  The explosive Millings also rushed 11 times for 54 yards.  He also handled return duties, running back 14 kickoffs for 239 yards and six punts for 47 yards.

OL Matthew Oullet De Carlo is back for his fourth season.  The perennial academic all-Canadian competed in the East-West Bowl this spring in Quebec City. He will be the leader in the trenches on the offensive side of the ball. A year ago he started all eight of the Gaiters contests.

Key recruits or transfers:

OL Terrek Bryant comes to Bishop’s via the Vancouver Island Raiders in B.C.

OL Connor Bryan hails from Victoria, B.C. and joins Bishop’s after playing for the Westshore Rebels.

RB Louis-Philippe Gregoire will dress for the Gaiters after completing his career at Cegep de Jonquiere.

Key losses:

RB Vincent Davignon graduated after leading the Gaiters in rushing a year ago.  He carried the ball 66 times for 303 yards and a touchdown in 2016. He also caught seven balls for 44 yards in seven games played.



Number of returning starters: 6

Key returning players: (3 or 4)

DL Mathieu Breton is back for the Gaiters for his fourth season. This spring he attended the East-West Bowl in Quebec City. The 6’8, 275-pound lineman continues to be a force stopping opponents. Last year he recorded 20 tackles, including two for losses and a sack in seven games. He also recovered a fumble and had a pass breakup.

Sophomore LB Keagan Hughes is back after a stellar first-year. A season ago he was second on the team in tackles, recording 39.5 including 1.5 for loss and a sack. He suited up in all eight games.

DB Arnaud Dandin is back for his second season.  The Paris, France native made history a year ago when he returned a fumble 104 yards for a touchdown. He dressed in all eight games last year and recorded 35 tackles good for third on the team. He also had five bass breakups and a tackle for a loss.

DL Jeremy Magan-France returns for his third year at Bishop’s. The Champlain-Lennoxville product played in all eight games for the Gaiters last year.  He recorded 22 tackles including one for a loss, broke-up two passes and had a forced fumble.

Key recruits or transfers:

DB Pier-Alexis Raymond suits up for the Gaiters for the first time this fall.  The 6’1, 210-pound safety came to Bishop’s after attending Cegep de Victoriaville.

DL Chris Sabat moves to Lennoxville and will wear Bishop’s colours after playing for Trinity College.

DB Nicholas Cartagenise is a Brampton, Ont. native and comes to the Gaiters after playing for the Toronto Junior Argonauts.

LB Liam Patton will look to step in and contribute to a linebacker core that lost a pair of starters from the 2016 Gaiters’ squad. He comes to Bishop’s via Bill Crothers Secondary School.


Key losses:

DB Ryan Hector was the leader of the secondary.  He graduates after putting up standout numbers for the Gaiters. In 2016 he led the team in tackles with 43 including two for a loss and had two pass break-ups.

LB Shane Cowan-Cholette was the emotional leader of the defense.  He returns to Bishop’s as a graduate assistant for 2017 and will try and convey his knowledge on the linebackers corp.  Cowan-Cholette played in all eight games last year and recorded 27.5 tackles. He also had an interception and half a sack.

LB Etienne Morin also is back to finish his degree and will work as a GA but has played out his eligibility. In 2016 he recorded 22.5 tackles including 1.5 sacks. In 2016 he was named the defensive player of the game at the annual East-West Bowl.

DB Jean Gayrard left the Gaiters after graduating as one of the top students in his class.  The perennial academic all-Canadian and two-time Bishop’s Gaiters Student-Athlete of the Year was also a leader in the Gaiters’ secondary. In 2016 he recorded 34 tackles including 0.5 for loss and recovered a fumble.



Key returning players:

K Vincent Dube returns to the Gaiters beaming with confidence.  He was a late addition to the 2017 East squad at the annual East-West Bowl. The senior made the most of his opportunity going a perfect 4-4 on field goal attempts and earning player of the game honours. A year ago he was 9-11 kicking field goals including a long of 37.  Punting the ball he averaged 38.3 yards on 63 kicks.

Key losses:

Shane Cowan-Cholette was the special teams’ captain a year ago.  He returns as a GA and will look pass along his passion and energy to the 2017 squad.

Ryan Hector was a versatile DB who also returned kicks.  He returned a team-high 14 kicks for 270 yards in 2016.


Mount Allison Mounties

2016 regular season record: 3-5

2016 regular season standings: 2nd in AUS

2016 playoff record: 1-1

2016 playoff finish: 29-8 loss to St. FX in the AUS Championship

General Write-Up:

After a slow start to the 2016 season, the Mounties improved each week and finished the season 2nd in the AUS, making their 4th straight AUS Championship game appearance.  2016 also saw the debut of QB Jakob Loucks, who played well enough as a true freshman to earn USports Rookie of the Year honors following the season.  With a talented young QB and plenty of explosive weapons around him, the future is bright in Sackville for 2017 and beyond.

Quote from head coach:

We are very excited about the upcoming season.  Our players have worked hard all off-season and we have had tremendous individual improvement in many of our returning players.  We also have an exciting group of recruits who will come in and compete with our returning players.  We will need great focus, preparation, and effort every single week in order to be successful in a very competitive conference.


Head Coach: Scott Brady

– Number of seasons as head coach with team (including 2017): 2

– Number of seasons as head coach in U SPORTS (including 2017): 2

– Career regular season record with team: 3-5

– Career regular season record in U SPORTS: 3-5

– Career overall record with team (reg. season & playoffs only): 4-6

– Career overall record in U SPORTS (reg. season & playoffs only): 4-6



Number of returning starters: 9

Key returning players: QB Jakob Loucks, RB Chris Reid, WR Malik Richards, OL Andre Goguen


QB Jakob Loucks: 1325 yards passing, 404 yards rushing, 6 touchdowns, 2016 AUS and USports Rookie of the Year

RB Chris Reid: 584 yards rushing, 6 touchdowns, 2016 AUS All-Star and East-West Bowl Selection

WR Malik Richards: 214 yards receiving

OL Andre Goguen: 2016 AUS All-Star

Key recruits or transfers: RB Adam Bennett, RB Aidan O’Neal, WR Malcolm Miller, OL Charles Lavallee, OL Dylan Estabrooks

RB Adam Bennett: U18 Team Canada, CFC 100

RB Aidan O’Neal: U18 Team Canada, CFC 100

WR Malcolm Miller: Team Ontario, International Bowl, CFC 100

OL Charles Lavallee: U18 Team Canada, CFC 100

OL Dylan Estabrooks: U18 Team Canada


Key losses: WR Dakota Brush, OL Matt Zwicker



Number of returning starters: 7

Key returning players: DL Donovan Glave, LB Damian Halstead, DB Nate Rostek, DB Devante Sampson

DL Donovan Glave: 30.5 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 2016 AUS All-Star

LB Damian Halstead: 44 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 1 forced fumble, AUS All-Star

DB Nate Rostek: 44 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 2 pass breakups

DB Devante Sampson: 30 tackles, 1 interception, 6 pass breakups, 2015 All-Canadian

Key recruits or transfers: DL Michael Kraeker, DL Cayne Lander, LB Graeme Stevens, DB Michael Domanico

DL Michael Kraeker: Team Ontario

DL Cayne Lander: Team Ontario, International Bowl

DB Michael Domanico: Team Ontario


Key losses: DL Jordan Redding, DL Angel Farias, LB Kyle Horsman, DB Michael Bohan, DB Dylan Cossar



Key returning players: K Ryan Lambert, LS Jesse Myers, RET Idahosa Yorke

K Ryan Lambert: 10/17 FGs, 17/17 PAT, 2015 AUS All-Star

RET Idahosa Yorke: 8.2 yards per punt return, 1 touchdown, 2015 AUS All-Star

Key recruits or transfers: RET Malcolm Miller

Key losses:



St. Mary’s Huskies

2016 regular season record: 2-6

2016 regular season standings: 4th in AUS

2016 playoff record: N/A

2016 playoff finish: N/A

General Write-Up:

Our expectations are not only to compete but to win an AUS Championship. It’s time to start raising the expectations around here from trying to compete to trying to win.  We’ve had an amazing off-season and the guys are hungry to get back to the playoffs.  It’s quite apparent that we are anxious to get the season started.


Quote from head coach: James Colzie III

Long off-season after coming up a yard short from possibly hosting a playoff game. Extremely excited about the recruiting class (4th in CFC) coming in and it’s up to me to make sure they mesh correctly with our double-digit starters that are returning. We found some Offensive Lineman that can contribute early and our starting Defensive Line is returning, and we all know it’s important to be tough in the trenches.


Head Coach: James Colzie III

– Number of seasons as head coach with team (including 2017): 2

– Number of seasons as head coach in U SPORTS (including 2017): 2

– Career regular season record with team: 2-6

– Career regular season record in U SPORTS:

– Career overall record with team (reg. season & playoffs only):2-6

– Career overall record in U SPORTS (reg. season & playoffs only):



Number of returning starters: (8)

Key returning players:

Nick Bartolacci 6’3 285 OL

Dryden Ferjo 6’3 275 OL

Leo Mantuila 5’9 195 RB

Rick Lemoingnan 5’9 185 WR

Lerone Robinson 6’3 195 WR

Key recruits or transfers:

Jake Hall 6’9 335 OL

Tyler Clucas-Warren 6’8 325 OL

Adam Wagner 6’7 325 OL

Josh Henry 6’4 190 WR

Archaleus Jack 6’4 195 WR

Brandon Ihanza 6’3 195 WR

Kaleb Scott 6’4 190 QB

Key losses:

Marcus MacIsaac 6’3 275 OL

Brock Berglund 6’4 215 QB


Number of returning starters: (11)

Key returning players:

Jadarius Caesar 6’5 255 DE

John Cole 6’3 245 DE

Matt McConnell 6’3 205 FS

Emmanuel Agbozo 6’2 235 LB

DeAndre Smith 6’3 225 LB

Mandella Loggalle 6’3 225

Key recruits or transfers:

Jordan Angove 6’3 195 DB

Jarek Richards 6’2 180 LB

Justin Julien  5’9 175 CB

Jabari Evans 6’3 185 CB

Jermanin Love 6’3 275 DE

Rae’Qwan McClinnahan 6’3 225 LB


Key losses:

Tre Mafuta 6’1 310 NG



Key returning players:

Brian Hope 6’1 175 K

Ryan Foster 6’1 LS

Leo Mantuilla KR

Key recruits or transfers:

Johnny King 5’7 185 KR

Jordan Angove 6’3 195 PR

Key losses: –


StFX X-Men
2016 regular season record: 7-1

2016 regular season standings: 1st in AUS

2016 playoff record: 1-1

2016 playoff finish: AUS Champions, U SPORTS Mitchell Bowl Finalists

General Write-Up:

The 2016 X-Men football team relied on high-energy special teams play, stout team defence, and explosive offensive performances on the way to logging a 7-1 regular season record, including an undefeated 7-0 margin versus AUS opponents. The X-Men enter the 2017 season as the back-to-back AUS champions, hoping to once again put forth a strong effort in AUS play and on the national stage.

One key hurdle for the X-Men to overcome in 2017 will be the graduation of star quarterback Tivon Cook, the 2016 AUS MVP, who leaves the squad as the school’s all-time leading passer (6943 career passing yards). Whoever emerges as the X-Men’s new pivot in 2017, however, will not be without his share of weapons, as three U SPORTS All-Canadians will be returning to fill key roles at the offensive skill positions. Receivers Kaion Julien-Grant and Dejuan Martin are two such players, and they will help comprise the team’s passing corps alongside veterans Greg Nugent, Chuck Wall, Brent Shepherd, and David Dean. Running Back Jordan Socholotiuk is the third returning All-Canadian on the offensive side of the ball, and he looks to build upon his breakout 2016 season in which he amassed an impressive 1,056 rushing yards. On the offensive line, returning starters Jacob Czaja, Sam Gan and Jonathan Zamora look to pave the way for the X-Men offence during the 2017 campaign.

Defensively, the X-Men look to build on some of the success they found in 2016 when they led the AUS in points allowed per game (16.1) and yards allowed per game (336). They return a number of key players on the defensive line, including AUS all-star defensive end Kyle Forde, and veteran defensive tackles Jimmie Cunningham and Tyler Cordeiro. They should also be deep at the linebacker position with Adam Kuntz, Kadel King and Gordon Whyte all returning for the 2017 season. Linebacker Brandt Kolybaba will also be returning to the field after an injury prevented him from suiting up in 2016. In the secondary, veteran leaders Dylan Bell, Justin Holland, Nathaniel Fermin and Mike Miller should ensure that opposing offences have a tough time attacking through the air.

The 2016 X-Men had a clean sweep of AUS all-stars in the special teams’ categories, with all three team members returning in 2017. Kicker Jonathan Heidebrecht, punter Keiran Burnham, and returner Kaion Julien-Grant will all be wearing the white and blue again in 2017, along with a number of returning athletes from both the coverage and return units.


Quote from Head Coach Gary Waterman:

“While we are thrilled to be entering the 2017 season as the two-time defending AUS champions, we realize that each new campaign begins with a 0-0 record, and we are looking forward to working hard to compete this season. Our conference has undergone a lot of changes since we last took the field in 2016, and we are excited to be a part of the new-look AUS, which now boasts five high-quality football teams. We look to once again be a competitive football team in 2017, though we will need to account for some key graduates who contributed greatly to our recent success. I am looking forward to finding out which players will step up to fill the vacant roles as we continue to once again strive for success in the AUS and nationally.”


– Number of seasons as head coach with team (including 2017): 9

– Number of seasons as head coach in U SPORTS (including 2017): 9

– Career regular season record with team: 30-34

– Career regular season record in U SPORTS: 30-34

– Career overall record with team (reg. season & playoffs only): 35-39

– Career overall record in U SPORTS (reg. season & playoffs only): 35-39



Number of returning starters: 8

Key returning players:

REC Kaion Julien-Grant (Toronto, ON) Kaion was a U SPORTS 1st-team All-Canadian in 2016, and an AUS all-star on both offence and on special teams. He was second in the nation in receiving yards per game with 114.9, and led the nation in all-purpose yards per game with 222.6.

RB Jordan Socholotiuk (Fort McMurray, AB) was a U SPORTS 2nd-team All-Canadian in 2016. Jordan had a breakout season last year with 1,056 rushing yards, the second highest total in the country.

REC Dejuan Martin (Scarborough, ON) racked up 754 receiving yards in 2016, and also hauled in 8 touchdown receptions, which earned him 2nd-team All-Canadian honours. Martin logged 52 catches last season, a new StFX single-season school record.

OL Jacob Czaja (Sudbury, ON) had a solid year on the offensive line in 2016, earning him AUS all-star recognition and a trip to the U SPORTS East-West Bowl.


Key recruits or transfers:

QB Michael Beale (Windsor, ON) – W.F. Herman Secondary School

OL Logan Murphy (St. John, NB) – St. John High School

H-Back Connor Ross (Coldbrook, NS) – Central Kings

REC Michael Forsey (Bedford, NS) – Charles P. Allen


Key losses:

QB Tivon Cook (Scarborough, ON)

LT Vernon Sainvil (Malden, Mass)

RG Keith Messer (St. John, NB)

REC Christian Ridley (Dubai, UAE)



Number of returning starters: 8

Key returning players:

DE Kyle Forde (Ajax, ON) racked up 9 total sacks in 2016, good for the top spot in the AUS and the second-highest nationally. He also had 25.5 tackles, including 13.5 tackles for loss, which earned him AUS all-star recognition. Forde also broke the school record for career sacks last year with a total of 16.5.

LB Adam Kuntz (Camrose, AB) had a very productive 2016 season, as he was credited with 45.5 total tackles, 3 sacks and 2 interceptions. Kuntz was an AUS all-star in 2016, and is looking to continue his success this upcoming season.

CB Justin Holland (Parksville, BC) is a veteran in the X-Men secondary, looking to have another solid season at the cornerback position. Holland was an Academic All-Canadian in 2016.

FS Dylan Bell (Brockville, ON) is one of the leaders of the X-Men defence. He hauled in 5 interceptions and racked up 21.5 total tackles in 2016.

HB Nathaniel Fermin (Pickering, ON) logged 33 tackles and an interception in 2016.


Key recruits or transfers:

DL Jalen Burley (Winnipeg, MB) – Vincent Massey Collegiate

LB Jacob Morgan (Halifax, NS) – Citadel High School

DB Devon Parris (Kingston, ON) – Frontenac Falcons

DB Alexis Verville (Victoriaville, QC) – Victoriaville Vulkins


Key losses:

DL Kay Okafor (Enugu, Nigeria)

DB Hayden Peters (Sydenham, ON)

DE Mete Konya (Osnabruck, GER)

CB Paolo Lach-Edwards (Hamilton, ON)



Key returning players:

K Jonathan Heidebrecht (Camrose, AB) was good on 17 of 24 field goal attempts last season. Heidebrecht was also a perfect 31 of 31 on PATs, for a total of 82 points in 2016. He was an AUS all-star in 2016.

P Keiran Burnham (Cambridge, ON) was the AUS all-star punter in 2016. Burnham had a breakout season last year with a 36-yard average on 76 punts, including 13 punts inside the 20 yard line.

LS Gordon Whyte (Toronto, ON) is expected to resume the long snapping duties for the 2017 season, also playing linebacker on defense.

Key recruits or transfers:

Alex Brown (Fredericton, NB) – Leo Hayes

Key losses:

DB Hayden Peters (Sydenham, ON)


Source: U Sports

Advocating for football prospects one story at a time.

Leave a Reply