Notable alumni on rosters competing in NCAA postseason
It might be holiday season for many, but things are heating up south of the border on the gridiron.
Since November, the NCAA Bowl season has been going strong. Among the athletes competing are 14 Canadians who have either represented the nation on the international stage or participated on a provincial team.
Highlighting this group is Deshawn Stevens. The linebacker from Toronto, Ontario is set to take the field on Saturday afternoon with Division 1 Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Maine Black Bears, the team will battle the Eastern Washington Eagles in a conference semi-final. Stevens helped Canada win gold at the 2016 IFAF World Junior Championships in Harbin, China after defeating rivals the United States. Additionally, the defensive star was part of Team Ontario squads who won the gold medal at the 2014 Football Canada Cup in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and claimed silver at the 2015 tournament at Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec.
However, Stevens is not the only Canadian on the Black Bear roster. Defensive lineman Justin Sambu from Cochrane, Alberta is also on the team. Sambu represented Alberta at the 2015 Football Canada Cup in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec.
Calgary, Alberta offensive lineman Shane Richards will be helping NCAA Division 1 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) team Oklahoma State Cowboys win the Liberty Bowl on December 31st. The Cowboys will square off against the Missouri Tigers. Richards helped Canada gain a silver medal at the 2014 IFAF World Junior Championships in Kuwait. In the gold medal game, Canada lost to rival United States.
Next week, defensive lineman Daniel Opoko will vie for the Miami Beach Bowl with the FBS squad San Diego State Aztecs. The team will face Ohio Bobcats on Wednesday December 19th. Opoko helped Saskatchewan win bronze at the 2015 Football Canada Cup in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec with a 22-9 victory over Alberta.
Two alumni from different provinces are playing alongside each other for the Syracuse Orange as the team competes for the Camping World Bowl on December 28 against West Virginia Mountaineers. Defensive back Tyrell Richards from Brampton was part of the Team Ontario squad that claimed silver at the 2015 Football Canada Cup after losing to host Quebec Blue 15-12 in the gold medal game. Offensive lineman Patrick Davis from Gatineau helped Quebec win gold over Alberta at the 2013 Football Canada Cup in Moncton, New Brunswick and silver in a rematch in the bronze medal game at the 2014 event in Sasaktoon.
Two-time Football Canada Cup gold medallist Ezechiel Tieide is on FBS team Boston College Eagles’ roster. The team is set to take on Boise State Broncos in the First Responder Bowl on Boxing Day.
Cheikhe Sidy Sow from Bromont, Quebec redshirted his season with the Eastern Michigan Eagles who will be competing in the Camellia Bowl on Saturday December 15th against Southern Georgia. The defensive lineman won gold with Quebec at the 2015 Football Canada Cup and got silver at the 2014 tournament in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Two fellow 2014 Football Canada Cup teammates are also involved in Bowl games. Defensive back Jeremie (Jay) Dominique will be vying for the Hawaii Bowl on December 22nd against LA Tech. As well, receiver Jeremie (Jay) Dominique will be alongside Team Quebec 2013 alum Tomas Jack-Kurdyla as the University of Buffalo Bulls are pitted against roy in the Dollar General Bowl on December 22nd.
While Inho Choi and Malcolm Chaka are Team Ontario alumni, both have enjoyed success on their repective teams. This past November, Columbia Lions defeated Cornell Big Red in the Empire Bowl 24-21. Choi, who is a defensive back, claimed silvers in both the 2014 and 2015 Football Canada Cups. Meanwhile, Malcolm Chaka represented Team Ontario at the 2012 Football Canada Cup in London, Ontario.
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