COMMISSIONER'S STATE OF THE LEAGUE MEDIA ADDRESS TRANSCRIPT NOW AVAILABLE PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jamie Dykstra   
Friday, 28 November 2014 23:34

COMMISSIONER'S STATE OF THE LEAGUE MEDIA ADDRESS TRANSCRIPT NOW AVAILABLE


VANCOUVER, B.C.
- Canadian Football League Commissioner Mark Cohon delivered his final State of the League Media Address this morning. CFL Board chairman Jim Lawson then joined the Commissioner on-stage to answer questions from assembled members of the media.

A full transcript of the Commissioner's State of the League Media Address is available here.

The Media Address can be viewed in its entirety here.

 
SOLOMON ELIMIMIAN REWRITES HISTORY AT CFL AWARDS PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jamie Dykstra   
Friday, 28 November 2014 04:31

SOLOMON ELIMIMIAN REWRITES HISTORY AT CFL AWARDS

Lions linebacker becomes first pure defensive player to be named Most Outstanding Player


VANCOUVER, B.C
. – Earlier tonight, BC Lions linebacker Solomon Elimimian became the first pure defensive player to be recognized as the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player. Elimimian, who also took home Most Outstanding Defensive Player, was honoured during the CFL Awards Show held at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver, B.C. as part of the festivities for the 102nd Grey Cup.

Other award winners include Calgary Stampeders’ running back Jon Cornish (Most Outstanding Canadian), Stampeders’ offensive lineman Brett Jones (Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman), Toronto Argonauts’ kicker and punter Swayze Waters (Most Outstanding Special Teams Player), Edmonton Eskimos’ linebacker Dexter McCoil (Most Outstanding Rookie) and the Stampeders’ Randy Chevrier (Tom Pate Memorial Award).

The Commissioner’s Award, in recognition of an individual or group who has made significant contributions to the league was also handed out at the CFL Awards. The Ottawa REDBLACKS ownership group consisting of Roger Greenberg, Jeff Hunt, John Pugh, John Ruddy and Bill Shenkman received the award for their tireless efforts and unwavering commitment to the rebirth of the CFL in the national capital.

The Most Outstanding Player Award winners were selected by a panel of voters that includes representation from the Football Reporters of Canada from all CFL markets, the national chapter of FRC voters and the CFL head coaches. In total, 62 voters completed their ballots. No player selections were unanimous.


CFL MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER
MOST OUTSTANDING DEFENSIVE PLAYER

SOLOMON ELIMIMIAN, LB
BC LIONS

This year, not only did Elimimian break the CFL’s all-time single season record for defensive tackles with 143, he also eclipsed the CFL total tackles mark with 151. The five-year veteran equaled his career-high of five sacks, originally set in the 2010 campaign. His three fumble recoveries set a new personal best.

Elimimian becomes the first player in league history to win three different CFL awards: Most Outstanding Rookie (2010), Most Outstanding Defensive Player (2014) and Most Outstanding Player (2014).

Elimimian, a former Hawaii Rainbow Warrior, is the first player in CFL history to record six games of at least ten or more tackles in a single season.

The Lions’ linebacker received 48 first place votes for Most Outstanding Player, and 58 first place votes for Most Outstanding Defensive Player.


MOST OUTSTANDING CANADIAN PLAYER

JON CORNISH, RB
CALGARY STAMPEDERS

Cornish led the league in rushing for the third consecutive season, finishing the 2014 campaign with 1,082 rushing yards in only nine games – the fewest games played in history by a league leader. In his eighth season in the CFL, Cornish finished with 1,215 yards from scrimmage and a total of six touchdowns.

This marks the third straight year in which the product of the University of Kansas has been recognized as the league's top Canadian. Tony Gabriel is the only other player to have achieved this feat, having registered three straight wins from 1976 to 1978.

Cornish, a native of New Westminster, B.C., received 50 first place votes for Most Outstanding Canadian Player.

MOST OUTSTANDING OFFENSIVE LINEMAN

BRETT JONES, OL
CALGARY STAMPEDERS

Jones anchored a stalwart Stampeders' offensive line which stood tall in defending the league's leading rusher in Jon Cornish and the team with the most rushing yards, while conceding the fewest number of quarterback sacks.

The former standout from the University of Regina becomes only the second player in CFL history to win the Most Outstanding Rookie award and then follow-up that effort with a CFL Award in his sophomore season. Jones joins Cameron Wake (2007 Most Outstanding Rookie and 2008 Most Outstanding Defensive Player) as the only two players to have accomplished this feat.

Jones' first Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman award comes on the strength of receiving 41 first place votes.

Following Brandon LaBatte taking the award last season, two native sons of Weyburn, Saskatchewan have now been named the league's top offensive lineman in consecutive years.


MOST OUTSTANDING SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER

SWAYZE WATERS, K/P
TORONTO ARGONAUTS

In 2014, Waters set the standard for all kickers and punters in the CFL. The dual threat kicker led the league in kicking points (192), field goals (47) and in punting (47.7 yards per punt). No player has led the league in all three statistical categories since Lui Passaglia's 1983 season.

The native of Jackson, Mississippi booted the longest field goal of the year with a 53-yard marker in Week 13 action. He completed the campaign having made 90.4 per cent of his attempts.

Waters also punted the ball on 136 occasions, totaling 6,483 yards and career-high average of 47.7 yards per punt.

The product of the University of Alabama-Birmingham received 51 first place votes. This is Waters’ first Most Outstanding Special Teams Player award.


MOST OUTSTANDING ROOKIE

DEXTER MCCOIL, LB
EDMONTON ESKIMOS

McCoil’s rookie season was certainly one to remember. The Eskimos linebacker recorded 67 tackles, four sacks and tied for the league lead with six interceptions in his first season in the CFL.

The product of the Univeristy of Tulsa ranked second in the league in total turnovers with seven and became only the 22nd player in league history to score three defensive touchdowns in a single season.

The last defensive player to win the rookie award came in 2010 when Solomon Elimimian took home the honour. McCoil becomes the first Eskimos player to be recognized as the league’s top first-year player since Shalon Baker in 1995.

The native of Metairie, Louisiana received 48 first place votes.


TOM PATE MEMORIAL AWARD

RANDY CHEVRIER, DT
CALGARY STAMPEDERS

Randy Chevrier is the recipient of this year’s Tom Pate Memorial Award, given to a player who displays qualities that distinguish him from their peers.

Chevrier displayed outstanding sportsmanship on the field this season while making significant contributions to the Stampeders, the City of Calgary and across Alberta.

In addition to serving on the Canadian Cancer Society board, he has acted as a spokesperson for numerous charities and events. He has started a number of community-based initiatives, including a weekly hospital visits program, an Anti-Bullying campaign, and a “Tickled Pink” event which annually raises thousands of dollars for the Canadian Cancer Society.

Chevrier is also a substitute teacher, a High School and youth football coach and a minor hockey coach.

 
RIDERS PRESIDENT & CEO JIM HOPSON HONOURED AT CFL AWARDS SHOW PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jamie Dykstra   
Friday, 28 November 2014 04:27

RIDERS PRESIDENT & CEO JIM HOPSON HONOURED AT CFL AWARDS SHOW


VANCOUVER
– Saskatchewan Roughriders President and CEO Jim Hopson has been honoured with the Hugh Campbell Distinguished Leadership Award for his contributions to the Canadian Football League, the game of football and Canada’s sporting culture.

He was presented the award earlier tonight by CFL President and COO Michael Copeland at the CFL Awards Show in Vancouver, BC as part of the 102nd Grey Cup festivities.

The former player turned executive has been at the helm of the Riders since 2005, leading them to four Grey Cup appearances and two Grey Cup Championships. Jim’s leadership has helped turn the Roughriders into one of the CFL’s model franchises, achieving record profits while continuing to be deeply rooted within its community.

“The Hugh Campbell Award is given to an individual that has strengthened our league and our game, and their place in Canada’s sports culture and Jim has certainly accomplished that,” said Copeland. “On behalf of our league and Board of Governors, congratulations and thank you for your efforts, passion and leadership.”

Over the past few years, the organization has won Paragon Awards for both marketing and community involvement; been named as one of Saskatchewan’s Top 100 companies: selected one of Saskatchewan’s Top 20 Employers; a regional winner for Most Admired Corporate Culture; and an Honorary ABEX Award Winner.

Personally, Jim has been named one of the Power 50 of Canadian Sports by the Globe and Mail; been recognized by Saskatchewan Business Magazine as one of the province’s most influential men; inducted into the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame; and was awarded a 2011 International Communication and Leadership Award by Toastmasters International. Jim is also the official spokesperson for the Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association’s “Save Your Melon” campaign. This campaign has been recognized nationally for its impact on the prevention of brain injuries. Jim has been awarded both a Saskatchewan Centennial Medal and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Earlier this year, the Roughriders announced that Hopson would be retiring from his current role in March, 2015.

Past recipients of the award include Hugh Campbell, Bob Ackles, Stan Schwartz, Tony Proudfoot and Brian Williams.

 
REDBLACKS OWNERSHIP GROUP HONOURED AT CFL AWARDS SHOW PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jamie Dykstra   
Friday, 28 November 2014 04:29

REDBLACKS OWNERSHIP GROUP HONOURED AT CFL AWARDS SHOW

Commissioner’s Award goes to Greenberg, Hunt, Pugh, Ruddy and Shenkman

VANCOUVER – Canadian Football League Commissioner Mark Cohon honoured the Ottawa REDBLACKS ownership group by presenting it with the 2014 Commissioner’s Award tonight at the CFL Awards Show in Vancouver, British Columbia as part of the 102nd Grey Cup festivities.

Roger Greenberg, Jeff Hunt, John Pugh, John Ruddy and Bill Shenkman were recognized for their tireless efforts and unwavering commitment to the rebirth of the CFL in the national capital.

“This award recognizes a contribution marked by devotion to community, love of our league and incredible perseverance,” said Cohon. “These gentlemen, in the face of various obstacles, kept working and fighting for years to make their dream a reality."

Originally awarded a franchise in 2008, which was conditional on the construction of a refurbished stadium, the group of local entrepreneurs and philanthropists entered into a partnership with the City of Ottawa. That led to this year’s opening of TD Place, the home of the REDBLACKS and the centrepiece of a massive redevelopment of Lansdowne Park.

The REDBLACKS ' home debut was an emotional affair with a celebratory atmosphere: the team won, 18-17 over the Toronto Argonauts, before a capacity crowd. Another eight straight sellouts followed in the new 24,000 seat facility as Ottawa embraced its’ new CFL entry.

“The result of these men’s vision and hard work is a model franchise in a beautiful stadium that’s filled to capacity game after game in a place the CFL really has to be: our capital,” added Cohon.

The Commissioner’s Award is presented each year to an individual or group that has made an outstanding contribution to the development of football in Canada.

 
MINISTER VAN LOAN PRESENTS JAKE GAUDAUR VETERANS’ AWARD TO JAMES YURICHUK PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jamie Dykstra   
Friday, 28 November 2014 04:25

MINISTER VAN LOAN PRESENTS JAKE GAUDAUR VETERANS’ AWARD TO JAMES YURICHUK

Argo linebacker demonstrates commendable attributes of Canadian Veterans


VANCOUVER, B.C
. – Toronto Argonaut linebacker James Yurichuk has been awarded the Jake Gaudaur Veterans’ Award for 2014.

“The Jake Gaudaur Award is a fitting tribute to the commendable and honourable attributes demonstrated by Canada’s veterans—past and present. Through commemorative events, such as the Canadian Football League Awards Ceremony, we honour the strength, comradeship and courage of those who have served,” said the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs.

“It is a high honour to be associated in this way with Canada’s veterans, and James has earned it with his brave play on the field, and his tireless efforts in the community,” said CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon.

Presented annually to the Canadian CFL player who best demonstrates the attributes of Canadian veterans – strength, perseverance, courage, comradeship and contribution to community – the award is named for Jake Gaudaur, the CFL’s longest serving commissioner and a distinguished Second World War veteran.

Yurichuk is a player ambassador for the Argos’ White Ribbon project, committed to helping end men’s violence against women. He is active in the team’s Huddle Up Bullying Prevention Program and is known as a fearless special teams leader and linebacker on the field.

A valued friend and teammate to his fellow Argos, Yurichuk is also a volunteer amateur football coach and administrator who has organized a women’s league in Ontario and recreational games for youth in his wife, Daniela’s, native Brazil.

He champions inclusion in sport, fair play and safe play, regularly speaking to youth as part of True Sport, created at the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport.

Yurichuk was presented the prestigious trophy this evening at the CFL Awards by Peter Van Loan, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, on behalf of the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs.

“It is my privilege to represent our Government at such a special event. This prestigious award is a merging of passions, celebrating a great national pastime and creating more awareness of the extraordinary people who have served our country,” said Minister Van Loan.

Minister Van Loan was accompanied by two lifetime members of the Royal Canadian Legion: Elsely Foulds, a Second World War veteran who landed in Normandy on D Day, and Agnes Keegan, who served in the British Army from 1942 to 1946, before marrying and immigrating to Canada.

Prior to the awards ceremony, the Grey Cup was on display as part of an event held at the George Derby Centre, a residential care facility providing priority access for Veterans in Burnaby, British Columbia.

Jake Gaudaur is recognized as a Canadian hero. A Canadian fighter pilot instructor during the Second World War, he won Grey Cups both as player and an executive, before serving as Commissioner of the CFL from 1968 to 1984. His story embodies the historic bond between the league and Veterans, one that is celebrated with the presentation of the Jake Gaudaur Veterans’ Award.

The award, now in its fifth year, is part of the Veterans’ Tribute project partnership between the Canadian Football League and Veterans Affairs Canada.

Yurichuk was the unanimous selection of a committee that includes representatives of the CFL, Veterans Affairs Canada, the Canadian Football Players Association and TSN, which broadcasts all CFL games.

 
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