Stingers football individual awards nominees

Which Stingers have the best shot at receiving awards for their individual performances this season?

The Stingers went 4-4 during the 2021 RSEQ football regular season, securing the third seed and a playoff berth for the second year in a row. On Friday, individual season awards will be announced before the Dunsmore Cup, the RSEQ title game. 

The Stingers won’t run away with every award, but the team boasts strong cases across the board. Without further ado, here’s my list of Concordia players who have the best shot at earning individual hardware.

Most Valuable Player: Olivier Roy (QB) 

Roy has come a long way from Concordia’s home opener versus Laval on Sept. 4, where his first throw as a starter was easily read by the defence and intercepted. Despite looking uncomfortable against arguably the best team in the province, Roy showed glimpses of greatness in the second half of that game, and hasn’t looked back since. 

Stingers head coach Brad Collinson said it’s the Stingers quarterback’s efforts off the field that have led to his success in games.

“[Roy] is here every day watching film with the coaches, just trying to get better,” Collinson said. “He’s never satisfied with what he’s done. His next-play mentality has been infectious for the team and critical for our success.”

Statistically, Roy’s case for RSEQ MVP is easy to vouch for. He led the conference in nearly every major passing category, including passing yards per game (308.8), passing yards (2470), and touchdowns (18). What was perhaps most impressive from his 2021 campaign, was his poise and fearlessness. Whenever the Stingers needed a big play, whether it was a breakout pass or a critical scramble from a broken play for a first-down, Roy would deliver nearly every time. 

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Jaylan Greaves (SB)

Concordia led not only the RSEQ, but the entire nation in passing yards for the season. That’s a testament to the depth of the team’s receiving corps and quarterback Roy, but no Stingers receiver stood out more in 2021 than Greaves did as a rookie. 

“Jaylan has all the intangibles; he’s big, long, and quick. What people probably don’t realize is he wasn’t even a starter at the beginning of the year so as a coach, watching his game grow has been a pleasure,” said Collinson. 

In his first season as a Stinger, Greaves abused opposing mismatches and made the most of his receptions. For the year, he caught 27 balls for 605 receiving yards, averaging a little over 22 yards per catch. His tendency to steal the show with a highlight catch-and-run was epitomized against McGill on Oct. 23, where he caught a breakout pass for 77 yards to go along with his 116 receiving yards and touchdown for the game.

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Zach Philion (LB)

This was technically Philion’s second year on Concordia’s football team, but the 2021 RSEQ season was his first year of university football due to the pandemic. While Concordia’s defence struggled at times to get stops, particularly against the conference’s stiffest competition, Philion held his own.

The Buffalo, N.Y.-native played every game for the Stingers, leading the team in tackles (35 solo, 13 assisted, 41.5 total). He also tallied a sack and an interception, and broke up six passes. Statistically, he was one of the Stingers’ best defensive backs and will look to build on what should have been his sophomore year.

Defensive Player of the Year: Khadeem Pierre (S)

The fifth-year safety for the Concordia Stingers had another solid statistical campaign for the team. He finished the year with 24.5 total tackles to go along with his four broken-up passes and one interception. 

Pierre is one of the team’s captains and was announced as a member of the RSEQ All-Star team on Thursday, along with four other Stingers. Collinson was quick to highlight Pierre’s influence on the team’s defensive identity. 

“Pierre’s the quarterback of our defence at the safety position and he always shows up for us when we need a big play,” Collinson said. 

Lineman of the Year: Maleek Desir (DT)

Linemen are critical, and often overlooked elements of football offences and defences. In many instances, they are assessed as a five-man unit as opposed to evaluating each player on the line individually. 

Desir’s play stood out among the pack however, contributing 12 total tackles, of which four and a half were tackles for loss. He also tallied a quarterback sack and was credited with a forced fumble. 

Special Teams Player of the Year: Andrew Stevens (K)

Concordia’s special teams play this season was shaky to say the least, but Stevens — the team’s lone kicker — made the most of his scoring opportunities. He made nine out of his 10 field goal attempts, and nailed every PAT. 

The Stingers relied on Stevens to handle both punting and kicking duties, whereas every other team in the RSEQ besides McGill had numerous options at the position. 

Honourable mentions: Jacob Salvail (SB), Dominic Soucy (DE), Damien Constantin (OL), Karim Brissault (OL).


Photograph by Catherine Reynolds

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