Lancers look to bounce back as the 2016 season opens Sunday

Lancers look to bounce back as the 2016 season opens Sunday

2015 regular season record: 2-6

2015 regular season standings: 9th in OUA

2015 playoff record: Did not qualify for the post season

2015 playoff finish: N/A

The University of Windsor Lancer football team is looking to put together another run for the Yates Cup championship this fall as they get set for the 2016 campaign. 

The Lancers will aim to bounce back from a 2015 season that saw them finish with a 2-6 conference mark, placing them ninth in the OUA standings and just shy of a playoff spot. Not qualifying for the post season for the first time in five years left a bitter taste in the mouths of the Lancers, who after a renaissance season the year before were expecting bigger and better things. However, unfulfilled aspirations have left the men hungry for both regular season and playoff success in 2016. 

Windsor has the potential to boast a big offensive threat in the CIS. This is highlighted by running back Tarrence Crawford, who ranked first on the team last year with 9 touchdowns (5th in the CIS) and 564 rushing yards. 

The Lancers will look also to leaders Frank Renaud, Tarik Bonas, and Joe Iatzko to provide the backbone for Windsor's defence. Renaud, a 2016 CFL draftee, returns to the lineup after missing the 2015 season due to injury. 

In addition, the Lancers have added depth in all aspects of the game with a strong recruiting class, highlighted by quarterback and Michigan native Jalen Brady. Brady joins the Blue & Gold from Northern Michigan University and will compete for time at the helm with fourth year QB Casey Wright.

Quote from head coach: Joe D'Amore  

"I am extremely excited about the 2016 season. We are still a young team in certain positions but we played a lot of freshmen last year and we feel that valuable experience will only benefit us this year."

Head Coach: Joe D'Amore

- Number of seasons as head coach with team (including 2016): 6

- Number of seasons as head coach in CIS (including 2016): 6

- Career regular season record with team: 19-21

- Career regular season record in CIS: 19-21

- Career overall record with team (reg. season & playoffs only): 20-25

- Career overall record in CIS (reg. season & playoffs only): 20-25

OFFENCE

Number of returning starters: 7 

Key returning players: 

RB Tarrence Crawford returns for his fifth and final season. Led the team in rushing in 2015 with 564 yards and 9 touchdowns. 

OL Randy Beardy is also in his final year of eligibility with the Blue & Gold. Bready was drafted by the Ottawa RedBlacks in the 2016 CFL Draft. 

OL Brett Boersma plays a key role on the Lancers' offensive line and was invited to the 2016 East-West Bowl this past May.

Key recruits or transfers:

QB Jalen Brady – transfer from Northern Michigan University.

WR Michael Emanuel is a local recruit from Catholic Central who will likely see playing time as a freshman

Key losses: 

WR Gilbert Stewart 

OL Jeremy Veres 

FB Nate O'Halloran 

DEFENCE

Number of returning starters: 7

Key returning players: 

LB Frank Renaud joins the Lancers after missing the 2015 season due to injury. Frank was drafted by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the 2016 CFL Draft. 

DB Tarik Bonas averaged 4.5 tackles per game for Windsor in 2015 and will help fill the void left by injured DB Matt Gayer. 

DE Joe Iatzko is back for a fifth season and will play a major factor in the Lancer defense. He finished the 2015 season with 28 total tackles, including 18 solo tackles.

Key recruits or transfers: 

LB Dan Metcalfe – OVFL all-star with the Essex Ravens

Key losses: 

DL Jeremy Rogers

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