Two Stingers football players are headed to the CFL Combine

Quarterback Olivier Roy and wide receiver Jeremy Murphy will represent Concordia at the National CFL Combine

Over five days in March, Concordia Stingers’ quarterback Olivier Roy and wide receiver Jeremy Murphy will be evaluated by CFL general managers and scouts during the 2023 National CFL Combine.

The National Combine gathers 50 top-rated prospects from Canadian universities in preparation for the CFL draft. Out of all the prospects, Roy is the only quarterback invited.

“I wasn’t thinking about it too much, but I knew it was my draft year and I had some chances to go to the Combine,” said Roy.

The combine typically invites only a few prospect quarterbacks and instead features guest quarterbacks. This was the case for Roy last year who was a guest player, but wasn’t evaluated as a prospect.

Stingers’ football head coach Brad Collinson said that they value quarterbacks at the Combine to throw to the receivers, so having been a guest in 2022 helped him get invited in 2023.

Olivier Roy in a game vs. the McGill Redbirds, 2022. Catherine Reynolds/ The Concordian

“He deserves it and it gives him the opportunity to experience something on a bigger stage,” said Collinson.

Roy also participated in a training camp with the Ottawa Redblacks and another quarterback camp in British Columbia last year.

Collinson said that he expected that both Roy and Murphy would be invited to this year’s Combine. 

He also noted the accolades Murphy has racked up in the three seasons he’s played with the Stingers.

“He’s had a great career here at Concordia, being U Sports Rookie of the Year [in 2019],” said Collinson. “He was invited to the [U Sports East-West Bowl] last year so it didn’t surprise me.”

Murphy was a two-time RSEQ all-star in 2019 and 2022. He was also named to the first All-Canadian U Sports football team last year, so he was anticipating an invitation to the CFL Combine.

“If I didn’t make it to the combine, I would have been very disappointed in myself,” he said.

Murphy had participated in the Texas College Gridiron Showcase in January, where he was evaluated by both NFL and CFL scouts. He expects the experience he gained during that event to help him during the upcoming combine in March.

“It’s kind of the same thing,” said Murphy. “I know what to expect. It’s just the people I’m going to go against are different, the talent level is different.”

He also mentioned the possibility that scouts want to see his ability to compete against American players, as would be the case in the CFL.

“I think they wanted to see my ability to go against American players, because there are a lot of Americans that play in the CFL,” he added.

According to Collinson, the most important thing for Murphy and Roy to do is to be themselves.

“There are going to be a lot of eyes on them,” he said. “They’re going to be in front of a big crowd with a lot of scouts and general managers from all over the CFL. So they have to be able to deal with that stress and then be able to perform at a high level.”

Collinson added that players do their best when they’re calm and relaxed. Roy emulated that thought, saying he will be himself if he gets the opportunity to have interviews there.

“I think that the general managers and the coaches are going to appreciate my personality,” Roy said.

He also added that it’s hard to stand out in the Combine because of the high level of talent and the fact that the prospects don’t know each other very well. So, Roy will use his unique position as quarterback to “speak up and show [his] leadership skills.” 

Both Roy and Murphy are glad to have each other there.

“It’s great to have someone out there that you know and Jeremy is an awesome player,” said Roy. “Hopefully we can get some reps together, and I can help him show off his skills at the same time.”

“We already have this connection, this timing,” added Murphy, who said he’s glad to have his quarterback there.

The pair will leave on March 21 for Edmonton. They both look forward to the Combine and aren’t nervous yet.

“I’m excited to compete with the best in the country,” said Roy.


Hard pill to swallow for Stingers football in disheartening 38-14 loss against Sherbrooke

The Stingers were unable to clinch their second win of the season at home against the Vert et Or over Shrine Bowl weekend.

With both teams coming off disappointing losses on the road, each side came in with a chip on their shoulder in what was considered a key win to get a playoff spot. Sherbrooke was able to rally behind their fans, who came strong to cheer them on, packing the Concordia stadium bleachers with an ocean of green jerseys as cowbells and horns created an electric atmosphere.

The Vert et Or came out guns blazing, making the running game count early and piercing through the Stingers’ defence to reach the endzone on their very first drive. Concordia’s insufficient answer came in the form of a solid running effort of their own, as running back Franck Tchembe, who had 61 rushing yards on the day, managed to move the Stingers up the field before a potential touchdown pass was ultimately dropped not far from the goal line.

“It was a horrible performance,” said Stingers’ quarterback Olivier Roy. “Offensively we couldn’t run the ball, we couldn’t pass the ball, we couldn’t put many points on the board, and it makes it hard to win games.”

The Stingers had a hard time getting things going on offence and were only able to score their first points late in the first half when slotback Jaylan Greaves hauled in a 6-yard pass for the touchdown.

Roy, who hopes to improve and learn from the loss, said the team needs to look at film and clean things up before their next game on Saturday, Oct. 8.

The juggernaut Sherbrooke offence was on high display from the first moments to the last of the game, excelling in both the running and passing game and making several huge plays. The Vert et Or’s running back Lucas Dalin, who left the Shrine Bowl with the John Gilday offensive MVP award, ran for 170 yards and scored a touchdown, while backup quarterback Gianni Casati was able to run through the endzone twice. Sherbrooke quarterback Charles Picard passed for 149 yards and a touchdown to receiver William Marchand, as the Vert et Or concluded the day with four trips to the endzone.

“We had a gameplan that we knew we had to execute to win,” said wide receiver Jeremy Murphy. “We created too many turnovers and that’s not how you win ball games.”

The Stingers threw three interceptions and fumbled twice which allowed Sherbrooke to take good field position multiple times, ultimately paying for their mistakes.

The team isn’t hiding from acknowledging the necessity for improvement and better execution, as both Murphy and fifth-year head coach Brad Collinson declared they “needed to work on everything.”

Despite the loss, the Shrine Bowl was an occasion for players, coaches, and fans to share a heartwarming moment as children from Shriners Hospital were able to take pictures with the players and hand out the traditional Shrine Bowl awards to both teams.

Roy, who took pictures with fans after the game, said “it’s a great honour, we’re so blessed to be able to play this game. Seeing these kids out here with a smile on their faces… It keeps us grounded.”

Heading into next week’s road game against the University of Montreal Carabins, the Stingers go back to the drawing board in hopes of adding a much-needed win against a high-profile opponent to their record.


Montreal Alouette Pierre-Luc Caron also serves as an emergency call dispatcher

The Alouettes’ long snapper will play his sixth season in the CFL — and his second with Montreal —  in 2022

On Jan. 21, co-news editor Gabriel Guindi and I caught up with Montreal Alouette Pierre-Luc Caron on The Starting Rotation, our sports talk radio show that airs on CJLO 1690 AM on Fridays at 2 p.m. If you missed the conversation live, here’s the abridged version of the offseason interview.

The Starting Rotation (SR): What were some of the unique hurdles that you had to overcome last season, both individually and as a team?

Pierre-Luc Caron (PLC): I had my first big injury since I started playing football when I was eight years old. I tore my pec against Ottawa, I had to get surgery and I’m still doing rehab almost every day. So that was definitely the biggest challenge for me. It’s been a busy offseason trying to get back as quickly as possible. 

As a team, I think we were a really good team, definitely better than our record showed. I feel like we didn’t fulfill our potential, but overall we’re building something great in Montreal, and there’s a ton of great players in that locker room. It’s not a big margin between a Grey Cup winning team and a team that finishes 7-7. If a few key moments go our way, maybe add a few players that could bring a change of attitude and we’re right there in the discussion. 

SR: What’s the timetable for your return from this injury? Do you expect to be ready for the upcoming season?

PLC: The doctor said I should be back to 100 per cent around mid-March. But honestly, if we had a game this week, I feel like I could play, so that’s good news. I just don’t bench as much as I used to, but that’s not a big deal for now. 

SR: The CFL terminated the 2020 season due to the pandemic. What was it like to just not play football for a year? 

PLC: Obviously, it was really tough because at the end of the day, playing football is my income. At the beginning, there was a lot of confusion, none of the players knew whether or not there was going to be another CFL season. I took the opportunity to move back to Montreal with my girlfriend, since she had a job offer. Overall, I’m happy to be back home for now. Family-wise, it’s been great. I can have dinner with my dad on a Wednesday night, which is something I wasn’t able to do when I was playing in Calgary. 

I had a lot of free time so I started working as a 911 operator, and I really liked it. I have a kinesiology degree and I felt like I could be useful in helping others outside of football. I feel like the pressure I experience on the football field helped me handle the stressful calls. Obviously, with the CFL back now, I’m really focused on my training now but I still take calls when I can. 

SR: Before you entered the CFL, you were a part of Laval’s football program for four years and played the Stingers many times over the years. Did you get a chance to watch some of Concordia’s games from this year? 

PLC: I did, and I really like what the Stingers are doing right now. I have a lot of friends that are on the coaching staff and I know things are trending upwards [for Concordia]. They even beat the [Montreal] Carabins this year so that’s a huge step, and you got a young quarterback in Olivier Roy, so the future is definitely looking bright.

SR: What are some of the other sports that you like to play, or like to watch asides from football? 

PLC: When I have the time, I really enjoy golf. When the pandemic started, I started playing more because a lot of the courses were still open in Calgary, so I took advantage of that whenever I could. I’m not great at it, but I like it because it’s relaxing and you get to spend a lot of time with your friends.

SR: What are some of your individual goals for next season?

PLC: I try not to look too far ahead. With my injury, I’m taking things day-by-day, doing rehab, training, and making sure I eat well. Honestly, I don’t have any goals right now. I just want to play every game and I know the goals are going to come once I’m healthy enough to play.


Photograph by Dominick Gravel


Three members of the Stingers awarded RSEQ football individual honours

Stingers quarterback Olivier Roy, slotblack Jaylan Greaves, and defensive end Malick Sylvain are recipients of 2021 RSEQ individual awards

Last week, I listed my Stingers’ nominees for RSEQ individual awards ahead of the official football conference on Friday in Montreal. In the end, Stingers sensations Olivier Roy, Jaylan Greaves, and Malick Sylvain stood among the brightest stars in the conference. 

Roy was awarded the Jeff Russel Memorial Trophy as the RSEQ’s most outstanding player of the year. Roy’s statistical case for the award speaks for itself, but what bolstered it to the moon was his ability to make his teammates better and win games when they were seemingly out of reach. 

“He’s still progressing, he’s young, and he’s exceeded every expectation,” said Stingers head coach Brad Collinson. “The beauty of it is that we have him for another three years, so we’re very fortunate and the future is bright for him.”

In his first year as a starter, the Stingers quarterback didn’t shy away from his role on the team as a leader. When I asked which individual performance stood out to him most in a season with many to choose from, Roy’s answer spoke volumes about his selfless approach to the game.

“I would have to go with our win against Montreal,” Roy said. “That’s when I realized that our group was special and we could do great things as a team.” 

Sylvain won the RSEQ Leadership and Community Engagement Award in his fourth year with the Stingers for his efforts both on and off the football field. The honour is given to the player who excels in balancing academics, football, and citizenship. 

The Stingers defensive end hasn’t let the workload of a student-athlete separate him from his community. Instead, he splits his time between non-profit organizations like the Jamaican Association of Montreal and The Shoebox Project for Women, helping them raise funds for their causes. He also designs and sells T-shirts and hoodies with a friend that raise awareness of the Black Lives Matter movement, and donates proceeds to non-profit initiatives. 

Greaves was deemed the Rookie of the Year for his exceptional individual play at the slotback position. When Concordia needed a big catch, Greaves had a knack for finding space and taking advantage of the opportunities that came his way. Jeremy Murphy, Stingers slotback and 2019 RSEQ and U Sports Rookie of the Year, only played three regular season games while nursing an injury, but Greaves’ development and rise to stardom ensured Concordia’s offence would remain elite. 

“Everything he accomplished was a product of his hard work behind the scenes. Jaylan carved out his role on the team with his work ethic,” Collinson said. 

Concordia’s 2021 season was cut short in the semifinal of the playoffs, but the Stingers can hold their heads up knowing they’ve built a solid foundation for future seasons.


RSEQ University Football Individual Awards – 2021: 


Most Valuable Player (Jeff Russel Trophy) – Olivier Roy, Concordia University

Defensive Player of the Year – Alec Poirier, Université Laval

Lineman of the Year – Philippe Lemieux-Cardinal, Université de Montréal

Rookie of the Year – Jaylan Greaves, Concordia University

Coach of the Year – Marco Iadeluca, Université de Montréal

Leadership and Community Engagement Award – Malick Sylvain, Concordia University

Offensive Rookie of the Year – Darius Simmons, McGill University

Defensive Rookie of the Year – Harold Miessan, Université de Montréal

Special Teams Player of the Year – Jacob Camiré, Université de Sherbrooke

Assistant Coach of the Year – Luc Sylvain, Université de Sherbrooke


Photograph by Andrew Maggio


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


The Buzz: Stingers weekend recap

Football, rugby, and soccer wrap up their respective postseasons, and regular season hockey is underway

Stingers men’s rugby wins fourth consecutive RSEQ title

Stingers defeated McGill 33-0 at Percival Molson Memorial Stadium on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Jean-Christophe Vinette led the Stingers with two tries, and Luca Milne earned MVP honours in a game in which the Redbirds never took off. 

McGill and Concordia finished the regular season at 5-1 apiece, but the Redbirds went into the postseason as the first seed. The Stingers’ dominant showing was another feather on the cap for Concordia’s rugby dynasty. 

RSEQ football semifinals versus Laval ends Stingers season early 

Also on Saturday, the Stingers football team travelled to TELUS Stadium to face the Laval Rouge et Or, where Concordia ultimately lost 30-10. 

The Stingers offence led the RSEQ in many major aspects, but was essentially shut down by Laval. Stingers quarterback Olivier Roy threw for 283 passing yards but couldn’t score a touchdown and was sacked four times. 

The Stingers ended the 2021 RSEQ regular season at 4-4, an improvement from their performance in 2019, where they finished the season at 2-6.  

Concordia men’s soccer lose in RSEQ semifinal to Montreal

Concordia faced the first-placed Carabins in the playoffs on Friday at CEPSUM, where the Stingers lost 2-0. 

Stingers midfielder Anthony Phelps was the team’s MVP of the match, while Carabins’ Quentin Paumier earned the honour for Montreal by securing the game-winning goal in the opening minutes of the match. 

Concordia finished the regular season with a 5-4-3 record, and Stingers fourth-year midfielder Mohammad Reza Nafar led the RSEQ regular season in goals (7) and points (11).

Stingers men’s and women’s hockey seasons start strong

As sports gradually make the transition to indoor activity with winter around the corner, both the men’s and women’s hockey teams took to the ice over the weekend. 

Looking to bounce back from the loss in their home opener versus McGill on Nov. 3, the men’s team did just that in their 3-0 victory over the UQTR Patriotes on Friday. Stingers rookie Maxim Trépanier scored the game-winning goal in the first minute of the second period on the power-play.

The women’s team went into the weekend with a disappointing 0-2 record, but returned to form on Saturday with a 4-0 victory over Bishop’s at home in the Ed Meagher Arena, followed by a convincing 2-0 win on the road against Montreal on Sunday afternoon.


Graphic by James Fay


Concordia comes up short against Montreal, suffering a 31-19 loss

The Stingers drop their second game in a row, failing to win in the pouring rain against the Carabins

Things didn’t go quite as planned for the Concordia Stingers on Saturday, as they weren’t able to secure a win against the Montreal Carabins, losing the match 31-19. It was a long game of catch-up for the Stingers, as they only held the lead briefly in the first quarter of the grueling contest. 

Stingers head coach Brad Collinson had high praise for his team after the game despite the loss. 

“The kids just showed some heart, they didn’t give up, they didn’t let the weather bother them, they just played,” Collinson said. 

It was evident from the opening kickoff that this wasn’t going to be a standard football game, as the heavy rain and wind made it extremely difficult to execute plays normally. Montreal kicked the game off with an early touchdown throw, as Carabins quarterback Jonathan Sénécal threw a 59 yard bomb to wideout Hassan Dosso. Concordia did a great job in response, as fan-favourite wide receiver Jaylan Greaves made a spectacular running catch for 72 yards. The drive was capped off with a touchdown from Jacob Salvail, who beat his defender on a gorgeous out route.

A Concordia safety gave the Stingers their first, and ultimately their only lead of the game. This newfound window of momentum was quickly slammed shut, after Stingers star quarterback Olivier Roy threw an interception which set up a field goal for Montreal, giving the visiting team a 10-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Carabins started the second quarter off hot, driving down the field and finishing off with a touchdown score from running back Bertrand Beaulieu. The cherry on top for Montreal was the single point touchback they received during the ensuing kickoff. 

At this point in the game, the rain became a real problem and made it incredibly difficult for both sides to secure the ball. A series of turnovers in close proximity in the second quarter summed it up best, as a Concordia interception was followed by a turnover on downs, which was quickly followed by a Montreal fumble. 

This set up a quarterback sneak touchdown from Stingers backup Adrien Guay. After this score, both offences struggled greatly with advancing the ball. An ugly quarter ended with a Montreal safety, putting the Carabins up by four points and leading 20-16 to end the half.

Montreal received the second half kickoff just as the weather appeared to be calming down, and did a tremendous job capitalizing on the opportunity with their offence. A long and demanding drive was finished with Bertrand trucking his way into the Stingers’ endzone for another touchdown. He was the star of this game, finishing with 158 yards and two touchdowns. 

A field goal in the fourth quarter gave Concordia brief hope, but a single point touchback and a Montreal field goal put the game out of reach for the Stingers. 

The Stingers will look to snap their two game losing streak on Oct. 23, when the rival McGill Redbirds visit their home field.


Photograph by Catherine Reynolds


Wide receiver Jeremy Murphy exceeds expectations in first season

When the Concordia Stingers football team recruited wide receiver Jeremy Murphy, they were confident they were getting something good. But, they couldn’t have guessed at the time how much of an impact Murphy would have in his first season.

“I thought Murphy was a very good receiver in college, and that he could bring that talent to the university level,” said head coach Brad Collinson. “He exceeded our expectations. To do what he did in his first year is rare. I knew he had it in him. I just didn’t know he would show it this year.”

Murphy comes from the Collège Champlain-St-Lambert Cavaliers where he played in the Réseau du Sport Étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) division 3. Murphy was named the rookie of the year in his first season there in 2016, as well as being named to the offensive all-star team. Last year, he was named the best offensive player and was once again on the offensive all-star team.

In his first season with the Stingers, the Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville native caught 34 passes for 491 yards. He also scored four touchdowns in eight games, which ranked him first of all RSEQ receivers. Murphy said his first season with the Stingers was a blast.

“It was a great experience, especially for a first-year player like myself,” Murphy said. “I learned many things, on and off the field, about being on time, my occupations, school and others. On the field, you learn just by the way you listen to your coach, and then apply the instructions.”

It was clear after their first game of the season against the Carabins de Montréal that Murphy would become a staple in the Stingers offence. People around the team knew that veteran James Tyrell would be the number one receiver, so it was up to the rest of the receiving corps to prove their worth – Murphy had an instant impact.

Collinson thought Murphy developed well in his first year with the Stingers, and showed he was one of the best freshmen in the league. He said Murphy is a competitor who trusts his abilities, which explains why he had success.

“I think he became a better route runner,” Collinson said. “He always had great chances as a receiver, which is key. Those are really things we enjoyed [from] him this year. Football’s very important to him. He enjoys the sport, and that passion transferred to how he played on the field.”

Murphy’s statistics allowed him to be named the RSEQ rookie of the year earlier this month. The wide receiver said he’s happy to receive such a reward.

“Obviously I wanted to win the RSEQ rookie of the year, but it wasn’t part of my expectations [entering the season],” Murphy said. “I was just trying to make my name known, and create a spot on the team for myself, nothing more than that.”

In addition to the RSEQ rookie of the year, Murphy was named the most outstanding rookie in Canadian university football last week, a first for a Stingers player since Liam Mahoney in 2007.

Collinson said the team won’t change its coaching because of how Murphy performed in his first year. He explained that everyone will start over again next season and progress at their rhythm.

“It’s not going to put pressure on [Murphy],” Collinson said. “We just want him to have a good season, and continue to develop and trust the process we coach here at Concordia. If he does that, good things will happen.”

Pressure or not, Murphy will be a player to watch in 2020-21. Teams now know what he’s capable of, and will try to limit his production when they play against him and the Stingers.

With a new quarterback next season, as veteran Adam Vance completes his fifth and final season with the team in 2019-20, players might have an adjustment period entering the new season.

However, some of the team’s wide receivers were also playing their last season, which could put Murphy into a bigger role in 2020-21, and allow him to continue on where he left last year.

Murphy said the goal for him is just to continue developing his game and what he’s been working on since joining the team last season.

“For me, it’s just to improve on what I’ve already created,” Murphy said. “As a team, we just have to win more than we did this year, and push it to the second round of the playoffs.”

Feature photo by Kyran Thicke / Concordia Stingers


Stingers football eyeing playoff spot

With just two games remaining in their regular season, and at risk of missing the playoffs for the second straight season, the Stingers need to bring some much-needed intensity, solid individual play, and good play-calling against the Sherbrooke Vert et Or and McGill to do so.

We decided to ask head coach Brad Collinson and offensive coordinator Alex Suprenant on their thoughts about their upcoming pursuit of that elusive final playoff spot.

Brad Collinson: “We gotta fight and take it one game at a time. We have a big game this weekend. If we win, we’re in. We had an off game against Laval, and that was…unfortunate. All we want is to continue progressing and I think we have the team and the offence to compete with anybody. Our defence practices with good intensity, they fly around. They need to run around the ball and get some turnovers.”

Alex Suprenant: “We just need to execute. We did against Sherbrooke at home, we did well against Montreal the week after, we had a bad one against Laval. We need to focus on what we need to do on the field, and if we do that we should be good. [Adam Vance] is our leader, he’s one of our best players, I’m pretty sure he’ll bounce back from the game he had against Laval. We expect that James Tyrrell, Jeremy Murphy, Jacob Salvail, maybe Vince Alessandrini will have big games. Our running backs are young, but they did some good things the past games. We’re going to make sure everyone can touch the ball and spread it out as much as possible.”

Here are what our sports editors (and myself) think of the season so far and how the Stingers can take their last two games.


Matthew Ohayon – Sports Editor: “Quarterbacks and running backs are only as good as their offensive line. Vance has done really well when given the proper protection to use his arm but the running game has struggled. If the offence wants to find sustainable success to make a playoff push, the running game needs to get going so that Vance and Surprenant can keep defenses guessing. Musangu, Foster and Mather have the talent to be an amazing backfield, but the offensive line needs to give them some help in creating holes to explode through.”

“Another offensive note; this team needs to finish off their drives with six points. These few games remaining are absolutely crucial and this team cannot be leaving points on the table. Turnovers on third down and field goals will not cut it — they need to put up touchdowns. It sounds obvious, but it’s been a major problem with the team this season. They put together methodical, time-killing drives but get stalled and have to settle for field goals. I know at a certain point, you are what your record says what you are, but this team is a lot more capable of what the stat-lines show.”

“On the defensive side of the ball, it’s quite simple. The Stingers only have seven sacks on the season — they need more pressure from their defensive line. Opposing QBs have way too much time to find open receivers and running backs have way too big of gaps to run through. If they are able to tighten that part of their defence up, it will make life so much easier against Sherbrooke and McGill.”

Alec Brideau – Assistant Sports Editor: “While there are surely things to fix on defence after a 74-0 loss, the other side of me’s thinking it’s the third time of the season the Stingers score six points or less in a game. Not many expect the Stingers to limit their opponent to a touchdown or two, but the reality is that you rarely win a game without scoring. With two games left, the Stingers will need to limit their offensive errors and make sure they’re the ones on offence most of the time. Simple plays and great runs could be the keys for those games.”

Matthew Coyte – Managing Editor: “Despite some really positive progressions this season on offence from players like Vance, Murphy and Tyrrell, the reality is that the run game needs to be better. Teams like Laval and Montreal are so good because they can burn you on the ground and in the air, and that combination is what puts defences on their heels. I would love to see Kevin Foster and Glody Musangu get more reps in the next two weeks and see what they can do.”

“The other key is on defence. The team’s struggled to stop drives and is the last place in most statistical categories, despite having some of the division’s best players. There’s a lot that could go better, but I’ll say that if the Stingers can stifle the run against Sherbrooke and McGill, they’ll give themselves a good chance to pick up some wins.For the Stingers to make the playoffs, it’s just going to take the offensive, defensive and special teams aspects of their game showing up and coming together at the same time.”

“The division’s been in a blender all year. McGill blows out Concordia, the Stingers almost beat Montreal twice, Sherbrooke actually DOES beat Montreal (the mad lads), Montreal smokes McGill. Nothing makes sense, the world is chaos, and not a single spot in the standings is determined yet. We haven’t seen the RSEQ this exciting in a long time.”


Photo by Mackenzie Lad


“Be a sponge” Rookie receivers learning from veterans

As the second season of Brad Collinson’s tenure as head coach of the Concordia Stingers begins, a quick look at the team’s roster makes something extremely clear.

There are a lot of new faces on this squad.

The Stingers currently have 22 first-year players on their roster, with 13 more red-shirting. Three of those rookies are receivers.

If you’ve tuned in to the team’s first couple games this season, one of those rookies you’ve probably seen the most is receiver Jeremy Murphy. In the season opener, Murphy caught five passes for 95 yards. In week two against McGill, he caught seven passes for 58 yards. In week three, he added another 24 yards on two receptions. Murphy was last year’s RSEQ Division 3 Offensive Player of the Year thanks to an impressive season at Champlain College Saint-Lambert.

Alongside the first-year receiver are only two fifth-year ones on the team, James Tyrrell and Sam Nadon – both of whom have been relied on to provide on and off field leadership. Collinson spoke about the importance of building a culture of competition between younger and older players.

“Everybody is learning this year because it’s a brand new offense,” said Collinson. “We want to create competition, we want those young guys to learn from the veterans, and to have some of those young guys beat out those veterans [for roster spots].”

Murphy is joined by other first-year receivers like Tristan Mancini and Jean-Simon L’Italien. For Murphy and Mancini, who played together at Cégep, the chance to lean on the veterans around them has been invaluable.

“It’s pretty cool because these guys have been here a while,” said Murphy. “I’m next to (Tyrrell) on the field all the time, he knows what he’s doing and everything he’s taught me has helped me a lot.”

“There’s a vet on my left, there’s a vet on my right,” added Mancini. “As soon as I have a question, I can ask them.”

Tyrrell and Nadon have embraced their roles this year as leaders on the team. When I caught up with Tyrrell, Nadon, Murphy, and Mancini after practice before their match against Laval, the two fifth years were quick to praise their rookie receivers for their eagerness to be a part of the team and learn, including showing up for summer workouts before the season even started.

“It’s pretty cool that we have rookies that come in with talent and willingness to learn and get better,” said Tyrrell. “There’s an immediate trust on the field once the ice is broken off the field.”

“These guys are open-minded,” said Nadon. “When we tell them something, they listen. They’re two guys who fit in real good, real nice guys.”

On the field, the Stingers look to establish themselves as a contender in the RSEQ division alongside the usual powerhouses of Laval and UDEM. Off the field, Tyrrell and Nadon both talked about wanting to teach the younger guys to continue to be as open as possible.

“Be a sponge,” said Tyrrell. “For your first couple of years, it’s just about absorbing as much information as possible.”

As Murphy and Mancini continue to establish themselves on the team, the biggest thing they’ve learned is how much more skilled university game is compared to CEGEP.

“You gotta play with speed,” said Mancini, who caught his first U Sports pass in week three on a long 27-yard reception. “You can’t be hesitant anymore because everyone’s good here.”

“Everyone’s bigger and faster so you really can’t think twice,” added Murphy. “If you’re doing something, just go. Even if you’re messing up, you just have to go.”


Photo by Matthew Coyte

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