Despite a 3-5 regular season record and a first-round playoff exit in the 2012 season, the Laurier men’s football program will be represented by three players at the annual Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) East West Bowl in London, Ont.
Third-year players Jeremy Deneau, Mike Massel and Tyrrel Wilson have been selected from WLU and will play for the West team on May 11.
The three Golden Hawks are among over 90 selections from coast-to-coast, chosen by the Canadian University Football Coaches Association (CUFCA).
The East West Bowl includes selections from 26 universities across Canada entering their fourth year of CIS experience and has reached eligibility for the 2014 CFL draft.
Participants will have the opportunity to be evaluated by professional personnel and potentially touted as prospects by CFL scouts.
Deneau, a 6’5”, 260-pound offensive lineman, became a starter this season and made seven appearances for the Golden Hawks.
“In such a competitive league, it is an honour to be talked about among the top third years in the CIS,” said Deneau.
“The East West Bowl should be a goal in any player’s university career.”
Deneau attributes his performance in the 2012 season to his physical and mental preparations during the off-season.
6’5”, 265-pound Massel found a full-time spot on Laurier’s offensive line this season, after transitioning from a blocking and receiving tight end role.
“[Being evaluated by CFL personnel] is an honour and privilege,” Massel said. “I had to adapt and learn new techniques against faster and stronger opponents and this selection is the product of all my hard work.”
Massel said he plans to provide leadership to his younger teammates en route to a successful upcoming season in 2013.
“Our team needs to work harder collectively to bring Laurier back to where we know we can be [in the OUA],” said Massel.
Wilson, a 5’11”, 185-pound running back, was in the top five on Laurier in rushing yards and receiving yards last season with 165 yards on the ground and 121 on six receptions.
“I was a lot more focused and determined to make an impact for the team [this off-season],” said Wilson.
According to Wilson, strength and conditioning coach Tyson Staples has developed a training regimen for the pro-style combine and Wilson hopes to represent his team and league well.
“It has always been a goal of mine to play and be recognized in the East West Bowl,” he said.
Laurier’s new head coach Michael Faulds is no stranger to the East West Bowl, making three appearances in his tenure as a quarterback with the Western Mustangs and two as a coach with the York Lions.
“This is an exciting time for Jeremy, Michael and Tyrrel,” Faulds said. “The East West Bowl is an opportunity for these three players to showcase their abilities in front of many CFL scouts before their fourth year. It also gives them extra motivation to train harder in the off-season.”