PREVIEW: Laurier men’s football

Photo by Shelby Blackley

Photo by Shelby Blackley

After kicking off their 2015 campaign last Friday in a rough 33-10 non-conference loss to the Saskatchewan Huskies, Wilfrid Laurier University’s men’s football team is ready for year three under bench boss Michael Faulds.

The Hawks posted a 4-4 record in Faulds’ second season with the squad last year and will hold an enormous amount of depth in their secondary this year — backed by defensive lineman Kwaku Boateng. Despite losing Chris Ackie and Ese Mrabure-Ajufo fourth and fifth overall in this year’s CFL draft, Faulds and the squad remain confident in the depth of their defence.

On the offensive side of the ball, Laurier will have in their arsenal the 2014 Ontario University Athletics (OUA) leading rusher Dillon Campbell, as he returns to the team for his fifth and final year of Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) football after a short stint with the Toronto Argonauts. The Hawks also have the benefit of having their entire offensive line — save for Tommy Griffiths — back in the trenches, keeping some consistency for Campbell and the offensive core. Wide receivers Greg Nyhof and Anthony Pizzuti will be common targets for quarterbacks James Fracas and Eric Morelli.

One of the big questions surrounding the Hawks is special teams. With the departure of kicker and punter Ronnie Pfeffer, who found himself recently signed by the Ottawa REDBLACKS, the team will look to rookies in Nathan Mesher and Quinn Johnson. Mesher and Johnson will split the duties of kicking throughout the season, and will be new to OUA competition, so Laurier will have to get used to a different leg for punting and kicking.

Laurier will kick off the regular season Sunday, Aug. 30 against the York Lions at 1 p.m. in Toronto.

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