Stingers football head coach Brad Collinson is confident with the 19 new offseason additions.
This past 2023 season was one of the Stingers football team’s best seasons in years, as they finished with a 5-3 record, beating a top-two USports team in the Montreal Carabins. This brought in a hefty influx of quality recruits, which will pad the existing talent. So far, 18 recruits have been announced, and a couple of coaching changes have occurred.
With veteran wide receiver Ezechiel Tiede on the way out to the CFL Combine, the Stingers need reinforcement in the wideout role, as the ground game seemed to be where the offense was most comfortable this season. Five new players have committed to Concordia.
Mikka Thibodeau dominated RSEQ division two football with CEGEP St-Hyacinthe, picking up 31 receptions and 342 yards throughout the season, classing him in the division’s top 20 receivers. Marcus Lynch seems promising as well, as he was the number one overall in receptions in his division of the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) with 39—10 more receptions than his runner-up in two less games. He also finished third in punt returning yards.
CEGEP St. Jean’s Félix Joly is the most eye-catching of all, as he finished sixth overall in receiving yards in RSEQ division one football, and 30 catches throughout the season.
As an offensive line specialist, Stingers head coach Brad Collinson spoke highly of the three commits that he will be spending the most time with—Vincent Coulombe, Justin Frattaroli and Ryan Fadlallah. The latter two shined amidst the two teams that struggled the most in the RSEQ’s D1.
“They’re aggressive guys […] We really wanted to recruit those two to bring that attitude to the offensive line,” Collinson said. “It just helps that whenever you have kids that are already like that, you don’t have to cultivate it.”
Three running backs have been recruited since last September. Édouard Montpetit’s William Chamberland finished with the most running back touchdowns in the RSEQ’s D2—a total of eight— and had the fourth-highest number of yards at 714. To Collinson, Chamberland is a “swiss army knife,” as he has many capabilities due to his past experience as a wideout.
John Abbott College tandem Alexandre Marchand and Reid Walker together carried for 1,147 yards this past season. Walker also finished with 7.4 average yards per carry, which is in the top-three throughout D2.
That being said, Franck Tchembe and Dwanté Morgan had greatly established roles on the team this past season. “We want competition and we want those guys to be pushed to get better,” said the head coach. “I think that these kids that were brought in will do that, and we’ll know more whenever we start practising with them.”
Marchand is already studying at Concordia, so he will be practicing with the team this spring, getting a feel for the culture, and displaying where he will fit in the team.
As for spring training, the team has already been training five days a week for about a month. The team is focused on the Rouge et Or of ULaval, as they’re seeking revenge on their season opener at home. This is the time to be introspective, and focus on the team.
“It’s a time in the season where we can really be creative and, you know, kind of try and test things out, things that we don’t have time to do in August, because we’re getting ready for the season,” head coach Colinson confirmed.
To help out with improvement, some coaching adjustments have been made, including the addition of ex-Stinger Samuel Thomassin as offensive line coach, and the promotion of receiver coach Justin Chapdelaine to offensive coordinator, replacing Alex Suprenant.
Collinson is excited to have hired Thomassin as part of the staff, for the former had coached him as a player on multiple teams and remains familiar with his football knowledge. “Having a young guy at that position to help coach, it’s extremely important.” Collinson said. “I think the kids gravitate towards what [Thomassin] does, you know, to have him on staff again is very beneficial for us.”
The Stingers seem to be only headed upwards. Let’s see if they surpass our expectations once again come August.