Hawks to play in East West Bowl this Saturday
Once again, the 2016 East West Bowl will be hosted by McGill University running through May 10-14. The five-day event will allow the top Canadian Interuniversity Sport players to showcase their talents to scouts prior to heading into their final year of post-secondary football.
The experience includes three days of practices, a combine for participating players, a CFL free-agent camp, the East West Bowl banquet, as well as a coaches’ clinic on game day.
This year is certainly special for the Wilfrid Laurier men’s football team, as four concrete players have received their formal invitations.
“[If] you get on the radar for CFL teams, it’s a known fact that within every year’s draft, probably 75 per cent of the draft played in the East West Bowl the year before,” said head coach Michael Faulds.
Of the 44 CIS players selected in the Canadian Football League Draft last year, 32 were past participants in the East West Bowl.
The Golden Hawks will have defensive linemen Kwaku Boateng of Milton, Ont. and Hamilton native, Jalen Price joining the 2016 roster. Also taking the stage are linebackers Brandon Calver of London, Ont., and Nakas Onyeka of Brampton, Ont.
“It’s a great opportunity … to showcase their abilities with other talented players from every team across the country,” said Faulds.
Prior to going into their final year of varsity football, this occasion brings together opposing players, testing their hunger and drive.
“They’ve acknowledged that you’re a CFL prospect and that it really comes down to your ability to sell yourself when the opportunity knocks,” said Boateng.
Honored with the Ontario University Athletics JP Metras Award and the CIS second team all-Canadian and OUA first team all-Star, Boateng will be one of the top linemen present in the conference. The 6-2, 240 lbs. defensive force recorded 18 tackles and with four sacks on the season.
His true dominance came into the forefront as he went on in the playoffs adding 8.5 tackles, three sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
The West will also have the fearless Jalen Price on their roster, as the 6-5, 325 lbs. linemen heads to Montreal looking to showcase his strength and size. In a Golden Hawk playoff run, Price was able to record 6.5 total tackles and a fumble recovery.
The East team will also be at the helm of Hawk linebackers Calver and Onyeka.
Calver is coming out of a season in which he recorded 34.5 tackles, two sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
Onyeka represented the purple and gold accordingly as he heads to the prospect game after finishing fifth in the OUA in tackles last season with two sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He was also named an OUA Second team all-star.
The strong Hawks coaching staff will also be in attendance, as five members of the Laurier men’s football coaching staff will be heavily involved in the East West operations.
Head Coach Michael Faulds will be carrying his knowledge to Montreal as he prepares the quarterbacks for the prospect game. Mark Surya will continue his role as the offensive coordinator, while Laurier’s Irv Daymond will lead the offensive line.
The defensive schemes will be lead by Dwayne Cameron, as the defensive coordinator, alongside linebacker coach Jesse Alexander.
Since his coaching debut with Laurier in 2013, Faulds has been able to create a cohesive team with plenty of promise.
“The four of us come from a program that’s all about family and chemistry. I think that easily rolls on to the field,” said Boateng.
The annual East West Bowl game will be held at Percival Molson Memorial Stadium in Montreal, on Saturday, May 14. Kickoff is at 1 p.m.