Football Hawks rank sixth in pre-season top 10

The pre-season Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) football top 10 was released earlier today and the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks find themselves ranked as the sixth-best team in the nation.

The number-six ranking is a spot higher than where the Hawks started the season a year ago, but once again they are the second-highest seed coming out of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) conference. Last year, it was the Western Mustangs -who find themselves ranked at number nine this year- who placed ahead of the Hawks, while this year it is the Ottawa Gee Gees.

The Hawks are coming off a 6-2 2009 campaign which saw them finish second in the OUA regular season standings before falling 26-16 in the semi-finals to the Mustangs. The Gee Gees, meanwhile also went 6-2 but only made it to the OUA quarter-finals where they lost 27-15 to the McMaster Marauders (who will start the season ranked tenth).

The OUA has one more representative in the top 10 -giving Ontario half the spots in the rankings-, as the defending Vanier Cup champion Queen’s Gaels will start the season ranked eighth in the nation. The Gaels lost almost the entire core of their championship-winning team from a year ago, namely quarterback Danny Brannagan, defensive end Shomari Williams, kick returner/corner back Jimmy Allin and wide receiver Scott Valberg and thus come into the season seven spots behind the first-ranked Calgary Dinos, the team they beat in the Vanier Cup game last year.

With the Dinos topping this year’s pre-season rankings, it marks the first time in five years that the Laval Rouge et Or have not opened the season at number one. Instead, last year’s Quebec Student Sports Federation champions will begin the year at number two.

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