All-stars named

File photo by Heather Davidson

File photo by Heather Davidson

After a year that was considered a significant building block for the program, Ontario University Athletics selected six all-stars and two all-rookies from the Wilfrid Laurier University men’s football team.

The all-stars were highlighted by four players in their draft year: defensive end Ese Mrabure-Ajufo, kicker Ronnie Pfeffer, defensive back Chris Ackie and running back Dillon Campbell. They were rounded out by fifth-year offensive guard Tommy Griffiths and third-year safety Benjamin Millar. This is the last university award Griffiths will receive before  heading to the Toronto Argonauts.

Pfeffer, Campbell, Griffiths and Ackie were all selected as first team OUA all-stars, while Millar and Mrabure-Ajufo were second team.

“To have these six guys achieve these honours, it says a lot,” said head coach Michael Faulds. “All of them were outstanding leaders for us… They really helped all the other guys on the team.”

Ackie, who is a top draft prospect, explained that the confidence of getting selected as an all-star is helpful in the pursuit of playing professionally.

“It’s an honour to be selected as an all-star and get ready for a combine… You’re always focused on the next step in life. The next step is now, ‘Hey, we are trying to make it to the CFL,’ ” he said.

Pfeffer enters his draft year after average of 42.2 yards per punt which was good for number one in the province.

Mrabure-Ajufo is the only Golden Hawk in his draft year who was named a second team all-star. According to Faulds, he was highly considered for first team — something that is very difficult in his positon.

“There were two other outstanding defensive ends in the league this year, and Ese was head to head with them,” he said.

Laurier’s two all-rookies were defensive half back Godfrey Onyeka and cornerback Carson Ouellette.

“It’s really good to see those freshmen that were able to dress this year and have a meaningful impact…they are going to lead their recruiting class,” he said.

Ackie was dubbed the ninth-best prospect in the country before the year started and thinks he thinks the season  proved he belongs there.

“I feel like I had my best year at Laurier. It’s not just about being athletic, you have to be a smart player as well. I’ve spent more time, as I’ve become more mature, watching film,” he said. “It has really helped me become a better player and I feel like I will be able to impress a lot of CFL scouts at the combine.”

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