OUA announces 2017 All-Rookie Football Team

Photo by Waterloo Warriors
Photo by Waterloo Warriors

BURLINGTON, Ont. – Ontario University Athletics (OUA) is pleased to announce the 2017 OUA football All-Rookie Team.

In the biggest turnaround the OUA witnessed this season, Waterloo showed that the future is once again bright for Warriors football, as evidenced by the collection of young talent being recognized on the OUA All-Rookie Team.

Leading the charge for the Waterloo offence, which proved to be one of the most potent in the entire conference, was QB Tre Ford (Niagara Falls, Ont.). Despite not technically being a starter, the freshman quarterback thrived in the team’s platoon system, showcasing his dynamic and entertaining talent. In his seven games this season, Ford collected 673 passing yards on a 66.7% completion rate, while also picking up another 717 yards on the ground on 77 rushes, all culminating in 10 TDs on the campaign.

Tre’s brother, meanwhile, Tyrell Ford (Niagara Falls, Ont.), also earns an All-Rookie selection for his work in the return game. Tyrell picked up 538 yards on 35 punt returns (15.4 AVG) to go along with 234 yards on 12 kick returns (19.5 AVG). Among these impressive totals came a number of lengthy runs, including a combined 14 of 20 yards or more.

Joining the Ford brothers on the All-Rookie squad are fellow Warriors OT Spencer Andrews (Waterloo, Ont.) and DT Michael Perak (Kitchener, Ont.).

In the unenviable task of filling the shows of 2016 OUA MVP Derek Wendel, Ottawa’s first-year QB Alex Lavric (Mississauga, Ont.) held his own under centre. Suiting up in all eight games for the Gee-Gees – playing seven and getting six starts – Lavric helped lead uOttawa to a fourth place finish. The Lorne Park Secondary alum threw for 1,409 yards, along with eight touchdowns, coming in with a 55% completion percentage (112 of 202).

Also representing the Gee-Gees on the All-Rookie squad is DE Alain Pae (Prague, Czech Republic), who churned out 25.5 tackles and six sacks in his first campaign, and Tanner Bishop (Vernon, B.C.).

Known more for their defence, it was a rookie quarterback that was able to provide a steadying presence for the Marauders en route to their 6-2 regular season. All-Rookie Team honouree Jackson White (Cambridge, Ont.) started six games for McMaster this season, picking up 272 yards per game and 10 touchdowns in the air. White also proved he was a threat to run; however, adding over 220 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Perhaps one of the most important skills that White brings to the position, though, is his accuracy, as the quarterback led the league in completion percentage (min. 100 attempts) as well.

Justice Allin (Toronto, Ont.), meanwhile, joined White as another offensive standout early in their university career. The running back / receiver was a threat in multiple facets of the game, picking up 18.6 yards per return, to go along with 157 yards on the ground and 329 yards receiving.

Fellow offensive standout, Tommy Nield (Guelph, Ont.), settled in nicely in the receiver role in his first season with the Marauders, picking up 320 yards and three touchdowns in his rookie campaign.

The Marauders final All-Rookie nod goes to C Wyatt Edmonds (Winnipeg, Man.).

Contrary to the offensive rookies from Mac, a trio of fresh-faced defenders joined the Gryphons squad in fine form this year, helping bring the team to the playoffs as the fifth seed. Sander Mod (Welland, Ont.) led the rookie representatives with his 14.5 tackles, which included two for a loss, while fellow freshman Kosi Onkyeka (Brampton, Ont.) finished just one tackle behind his teammate with 13.5. Capping off Guelph’s defensive selections on the All-Rookie squad is Jared Beeksma (Cambridge, Ont.), who secured seven tackles on the campaign.

When it came to the return game for Guelph, meanwhile, a massive spark came from the addition of Ryan Isenor (Delhi, Ont.). Isenor led the team with 470 punt return yards (14.7 AVG) and one touchdown, adding on another 280 yards in kick returns (20.0 AVG).

Like Guelph, there are numerous established stars on the Laurier Golden Hawks team, but a few up-and-coming standouts have earned All-Rookie honours for 2017. Leading the bunch is LB Mario Pineda (Cambridge, Ont.), whose freshman year saw him collect 10.5 tackles, one sack, and one pass break up.

Making a strong debut in the ground game, meanwhile, was RB Kavantye Bailey’s (Calgary, Alta.) All-Rookie nod was sparked by an average of 13.1 yards per carry on 19 rush attempts. Joining Bailey with a solid offensive debut on the OUA scene is WR Nick Petermann (Hamilton, Ont.). Petermann, whose brother Dan plays for the Marauders, dressed in all eight games, picking up a pair of catches along the way.

On yet another team that is filled with talent on both sides of the ball, a pair of Western freshmen were also able to make their presence felt. In his seven games played, DL Austin Fordham-Miller (Morpeth, Ont.) picked up nine tackles (including one for a loss) and one pass break up. First-year teammate Daniel Valente (London, Ont.) grabbed 14 tackles in his debut campaign; enough to earn the hometown Social Science student a spot on the All-Rookie squad.

On the flip side, despite picking up just one win on the campaign, there is reason to think that smoother sailing is on the horizon for the Varsity Blues. One such reason for this optimistic outlook was the play of rookie receiver Will Corby (Burlington, Ont.), who led the Toronto group and all OUA rookie receivers with 412 yards receiving and a pair of touchdowns; earning All-Rookie honours for his efforts.

Roaring onto the All-Rookie Team, meanwhile, are a pair of York Lions. DB Daniel Loggale (Edmonton, Alta.) made the most of his first campaign with the team, coming away with a pair of interceptions, 17 solo tackles, and nine assisted efforts. Joining Loggale, thanks in large part to his steady presence on the offensive line this season, is fellow Albertan James Duffey Jr. (Leduc, Alta.).

Rounding out the All-Rookie Team are a trio of lone representatives from their respective squads.

After a standout rookie campaign for the Windsor Lancers, DB Daniel Stirling (Waterloo, Ont.) has been named an All-Rookie for 2017. Stirling settled in the fourth spot in terms of total tackles (28) for the Lancers squad, while also recording a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.

Representing the Carleton Ravens on the OUA All-Rookie Team is DB Danny McWhirter (Mount Albert, Ont.). In his first taste of OUA action, the Criminology and Criminal Justice student played a part in nine tackles – eight of which were of the solo variety – as well as one interception on the campaign. 

Checking in with six solo tackles in his debut season, meanwhile, is Queen’s Gaels’ Konner Burtenshaw (Amherstview, Ont.), as the 5’11” Arts and Science student made his way into six games in 2017.

The complete list of the OUA’s First-Team and Second-Team football All-Stars is as follows:

All-Rookie Team

DT – Sander Mod, Guelph
QB – Alex Lavric, Ottawa
QB – Jackson White, McMaster
WR – Will Corby, Toronto
QB – Tre Ford, Waterloo
RB/WR – Justice Allin, McMaster
WR - Tommy Nield, McMaster
CB – Tyrell Ford, Waterloo
DE – Alain Pae, Ottawa
OT – Spencer Andrews, Waterloo
LB – Kosi Onyeka, Guelph
RET – Ryan Isenor, Guelph
G/C/T – Wyatt Edmonds, McMaster
CB – Danny McWhirter, Carleton
LB – Mario Pineda, Laurier
DT – Michael Perak, Waterloo
WR – Nick Petermann, Laurier
OL – Tanner Bishop, Ottawa
OL – James Duffey Jr., York
RB – Kavantye Bailey, Laurier
LB – Jared Beeksma, Guelph
RB – Konner Burtenshaw, Queen’s
DT – Austin Fordham-Miller, Western
DB – Danny Valente, Western
DB – Daniel Loggale, York
DB – Daniel Stirling, Windsor