Five GW Graham football players have earned AA Eastern conference all-star status.
The list was released Monday.
GWG’s Von Richardson snagged one of two MVP awards, but not the one you’d think.
Richardson, who rushed for 1,395 yards and accounted for 23 Grizzly touchdowns, was not named the offensive MVP.
That went to Abbotsford Panther running back Samuel Uko.
Instead, Richardson was named defensive MVP after producing 57 tackles, two sacks and a fumble recovery from his linebacker position.
That’s in just four games too after he missed the regular season finale for a Rugby Canada tryout.
It’s astounding when you think about it. Richardson had a legit case to win MVP awards on both sides of the ball.
“Von has given his team everything this season,” said GWG coach Laurie Smith. “He leads the league in carries, yards, TD’s and tackles.
“What more could you ask from an MVP?”
Jake Troyan earned all-star status as an offensive lineman.
“Nobody comes close to Jake’s technical ability, footwork, hand strength and overall blocking ability,” Smith said. “He is the best offensive lineman in the province, period.
He has enjoyed a great mentor in offensive coordinator and line coach Luke Acheson for the past seven years, but his success is attributable to Jake’s relentless work ethic.
“He is one of a kind.”
Grade 11 starter Cooper Middleton earned all-star status on the D line.
“Cooper has provided a much needed boost to our defensive and offensive lines this year after the loss of several veterans,” Smith noted. “He is tenacious and is a great tackler.”
Despite missing part of the season with injury, Daniel Santos was good enough to earn recognition at linebacker.
“Daniel’s ability to cover real estate and make open field tackles is the best I have seen from a Grizzly,” Smith said. “This is a player who will enjoy great success at the next level.”
The final selection was defensive back Shane Claridge.
“Shane is all about work ethic. He is at the gym every day at 5:30 am and never misses a practice or meeting,” Smith said. “He seems to have shed the ‘superfly’ designation he once had as a tiny Grade 9 player, taking on the new label of captain and leader.”
Abbotsford led the way with nine all-star selections.
Langley, Samuel Robertson Tech and Robert Bateman had four apiece and Pitt Meadows had two.
— Playoff action this weekend finds two Eastern conference squads on the road.
The SRT Titans (3-2, third place) travel to Vernon to face the Clarence Fulton Maroons (3-1, second in Okanagan conference).
Langley (2-3, fourth place) heads to Nanaimo to face the John Barsby Bulldogs (4-1, second in Western conference).
The Hugh Boyd Trojans (2-3, third in Western conference) travel to Vernon to face Prince George’s College Heights Cougars (3-1, second in Northern conference).
The Argyle Pipers (2-3, fourth in Western conference) travel to Vernon to face the Prince George Polars (4-0, first in Northern conference).
The Grizzlies will host the winner of the PG vs Argyle game next weekend.