Multiple national and provincial team members to battle in 53rd Vanier Cup
When the Laval Rouge et Or square off against the Western Mustangs for the 53rd Vanier Cup on Saturday in Hamilton, Ontario, there will be flashes of national and provincial team players past and present on the field.
Between the Rouge et Or and Mustangs, there are 22 athletes who have been part of the national program. Eight of them helped Canada win gold at the 2012 IFAF World Junior Under-19 championships in Arlington, Texas – quarterback Hugo Richard (Laval), running back Christopher Amoah (Laval), receiver Alexandre Savard (Laval), offensive lineman Louis-Gabriel Beaudet (Laval), offensive lineman Edward Godin (Laval), linebacker Marc Antoine Varin (Laval), defensive back Kevin McGee (Laval) and linebacker Jean-Gabriel Poulin (Western).
Another nine Rouge et Or players were part of Team Canada that earned a silver medal at the 2014 IFAF World Junior Championships in Kuwait – running back Philippe Lessard-Vezina, offensive lineman Pierre-Karl Lanctot, offensive lineman Samuel Thomassin, receiver Marc-Antoine Pivin, defensive lineman Mathieu Betts, defensive lineman Vincent Desjardins, linebacker Cedric Lussier-Roy, defensive back Louis-Philippe St. Amant and kicker Dominic Levesque.
An additional three Rouge et Or athletes were part of Canada’s 2016 IFAF World Junior Championship gold medal team from Harbin, China – offensive lineman Samuel Lefebvre, receiver Mathieu Robitaille and receiver Jordan Duprey.
This upcoming January, Mustangs linebacker Myles Manalo and defensive back Daniel Valente will represent Canada at the 2018 International Bowl in Arlington, Texas.
Not only is there national team representation, but several players on both teams have represented their provinces at previous Football Canada Cup tournaments. Mustangs quarterback Chris Merchant led Team Alberta’s offence to a silver medal at the 2012 Football Canada Cup in London, Ontario. Additionally, receiver Zach Marcus powered Team Ontario to a bronze medal at the same tournament. The third Mustangs player to play in the 2012 Football Canada Cup was receiver Alex Taylor who suited up for Team Manitoba.
When Team Ontario won the gold medal at the 2014 Football Canada Cup in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, four current Mustangs players contributed to the accomplishment. They were linebacker Fraser Sopik, quarterback Kevin John as well as offensive linemen Dylan Giffen and Spencer Hood.
In that same tournament, current Mustangs linebacker Philippe Dion, Rouge et Or offensive lineman Samuel Lefebvre and linebacker Kean Harelimana helped Team Quebec earn a bronze medal. Mustangs fullback Adian Majury represented Team Nova Scotia while defensive lineman Tony Rossi was part of Team Manitoba.
Rossi would also participate in the 2015 Football Canada in Saint-Jean-sur Richelieu, Quebec once again for Team Manitoba. Mustangs offensive lineman Peter Brown earned a bronze medal with Team Ontario at the 2016 Football Canada Cup in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
The Rouge et Or and Mustangs will play in the 53rd Vanier Cup on Saturday November 25th. Kickoff is at 1:00pm at Tim Horton’s Field in Hamilton, Ontario.
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