Hec Crighton Award
Bob Cameron took a Hec Crighton pedigree to a 23 season Hall of Fame career
Hec Crighton Winners
2010 - Brad Sinopoli - Ottawa - Calgary, Ottawa
2006 - Daryl Stephenson - Windsor - Winnipeg, Hamilton
2005 - Andy Fantuz - Western - Saskatchewan Roughriders
2004 - Jesse Lumsden - McMaster - Hamilton,
1983 - Greg Vavra - Calgary - Calgary, B.C., Edmonton
1977 - Bob Cameron - Acadia - Winnipeg
1975 - Brian Fryer - Alberta - Edmonton, Ottawa
1967 - Mike Eben - University of Toronto -
2014, 15 - Andrew Buckley - Calgary - Calgary
Andrew Buckley was a collegiate star at the University of Calgary winning the Hec Crighton award in both 2014 and 2015. He set a CIS passing record in 2015 with 3,162 yards through the air. He was drafted by the Calgary Stampeders in the 7th round of the 2015 draft and spent the 2015 season as an understudy to Bo Levi Mitchell and Drew Tate. In 2016 he progressed to become the short yardage quarterback on a dominant team that went 15-2-1. In the 104th Grey Cup he became the 1st quarterback since Russ Jackson in 1969 to score a touchdown. He was tackled on a controversial play-call that led to a field goal, overtime and eventual defeat to Ottawa.
2010 - Brad Sinopoli - Ottawa - Calgary, Ottawa
Brad Sinopoli captured the Hec Crighton award in 2010 as the quarterback for the Ottawa GeeGees. Sinopoli was drafted into the CFL by the Calgary Stampeders as a quarterback a rare feat for a Canadian born player and rarer still he made the 2011 roster of the Stampeders as their 3rd string quarterback. Sinopoli failed to see action with Calgary at Quarterback and was cut from the team to start the 2012 season after battling Bo Levi Mitchell for 3rd string status. Injuries caused him to rejoin the team as a 3rd stringer midway through the 2012 season and for the 2013 season Sinopoli made the transition to receiver. With terrific athletic ability and a strong knowledge of the offence, Sinopoli immediately produced at receiver and again due to injuries became a key offensive contributor in 2013. Sinopoli joined Ottawa as a free agent in 2015 and became a focal point in the offence. He has surpassed 1,000 yards receiving in 2015 and 2016 and was named the leagues Most Outstanding Canadian in 2015.
2006 - Daryl Stephenson - Windsor - Winnipeg, Hamilton, Saskatchewan
Daryl Stephenson had a record breaking 5 season career as a running back for the Windsor Lancers. The London native set a CIS record for career rushing yards. He had his finest season in 2005 with 1,306 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns and would capture the Hec Crighton award the following year in 2006 with 1,140 yards. He would become the only CIS back to post 3 consecutive 1,000 yard rushing seasons. Stephenson was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2008 CFL draft by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He has played mostly on special teams and in 2011 joined the Hamilton Tiger Cats. In 2012, playing in a tight end formation Stephenson posted 2 receiving touchdowns the first of his career. Stephenson joined the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2013 spending his time on special teams.
2005 - Andy Fantuz - Western - Saskatchewan, Hamilton
Andy Fantuz a native of Chatham Ontario holds a number of CIS receiving records. Over his career with the Western Ontario Mustangs Fantuz was a match-up nightmare for opposing defensive backs. Fantuz captured the Hec Crighton Award in 2006 the first receiver to win the award since Don Blair in 1996. Fantuz was selected by the Saskatchewan Roughriders 3rd overall in the 2006 CFL draft. He also contributed in the Roughriders Grey Cup witn in 2007 with a touchdown reception and was named the games top Canadian. In 2010 he had his best season leading the league with 1,380 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns . He has gone on to become an elite receiver in Canadian Football now with the Hamilton Tiger Cats.
Jesse Lumsden grew up around Canadian football. The son of longtime CFL player and analyst Neil Lumsden, he spent time in Edmonton and Burlington as an adolescent. Lumsden would attend McMaster University for football and set a number of CIS records on his way to capturing the Hec Crighton Award in 2004 as a senior. Lumsden was drafted by the Hamilton Tiger Cats 6th overall in 2004 and after a failed try-out with the Seattle Seahwaks, Lumsden showed promise with Hamilton. In 2005 he tried out with the Washington Redskins and returned to Hamilton to post strong totals. With his NFL aspirations behind him Lumsden enjoyed his best season with Hamilton in 2006 with an amazing 7.1 yard per carry average for 743 yards. Injuries would cut short his season and also plaque the big back in 2007 and 2008. Lumsden would join the Edmonton Eskimos for the 2009 season as a free agnet but again would suffer injury to a previously repaired shoulder in week #1 and miss the rest of the season. With time off Olympic Bobsledder Pierre Leuders approached Lumsden about joining his Olympic quest for 2010 in Vancouver. Lumsden did compete in the Olympics in Vancouver and looks to continue his football career.
1998, 1996 - Eric Lapointe - Mount Allison - Hamilton Toronto Montreal
Eric Lapointe spent an incredible 4 seasons with the Mount Allison Mounties. He first captured the Hec Crighton Award in 1996 after a record breaking season at running back. The Quebec native did not stop there and would go on to win the Award a second time in 1998 his final season in college football. Highly regarded Eric spent his first pro season with Hamilton where he posted amazing totals with 691 rushing yards and a 6.6 yards per carry average in limited action. With just 2 starts Lapointe would post the best totals of his career and also capture the Grey Cup as Hamilton defeated Calgary. After 1 season with Toronto where he was under utilized Lapointe moved back to his home province of Quebec and joined the Montreal Alouettes. Eric would find a productive niche as the clubs #2 running back he would post strong totals and in 2005 he replaced injured back Autry Denson? and would post 2 terrific post season games 1 in a victory over Toronto and then in a heartbreaking OT loss to Edmonton in the Grey Cup over the 2 games Lapointe would rush for over 200 yards and 3 touchdowns. Eric would retire after the 2006 season as a fan favourite and a strong example for aspiring Canadian born running backs.
1997 - Mark Nohra - UBC - BC Edmonton Ottawa
Mark Nohra captured the Hec Crighton Award in 1997 while with the UBC Thunderbirds. The powerful Nohra led the nation in rushing and led the Thunderbirds to a Vanier Cup championship. Nohra was drafted 28th overall by the Hamilton Tiger Cats in 1997 but attended the Buffalo Bills camp as a free agent before returning to the CFL and signing with the B.C. Lions. Nohra who was born in Beirut, Lebanon, started his career on special teams in 1998. In 1999 Mark started to see action at running back with the Lions. After being traded to the Edmonton Eskimos in 2000 Nohra assumed more of a starting role at running back and posted strong totals with 760 yards in 2000 and 666 yards in 2002. In 2002 Nohra spent 1 season with the expansion Ottawa Renegades before returning to the Lions in 2003. Mark would play sparingly in 2004 and then missed the entire 2005 season due to a knee injury. Mark returned to action in 2006 in 14 games with the Lions before retiring after another knee injury ended his season.
1995 - Don Blair - Calgary - Edmonton BC Calgary
Don Blair set the CIS world on fire in 1995. He led the Calgary Dinos to a Vanier Cup championship and had CFL General Managers buzzing about his potential as a professional. Blair would be drafted by the Edmonton Eskimos 1st overall in the draft but would pursue a free agent tryout with the Chicago Bears before joining Edmonton midway through the 1996 season. Blair had success his first season primarily as a punt returner. He would have a 81 yard punt return for a touchdown his first season in the CFL. in 1997 and 1998 he began to emerge as a star receiver in 1998 his final season with Edmonton he broke the 1,000 yard receiving mark with 1,091 yards and 6 touchdowns. The brek through season led Blair to sign as a free agent with the B.C. Lions where he would enjoy 2 productive seasons in 1999 and 2000. in 2000 he would capture the Grey Cup. His final season with BC in 2001 was plagued with injuries and in 2002 he would return to the site of his amateur glory with the Calgary Stampeders. Blair would have 2 productive seasons as a Stampeder before retiring after the 2003 season. Don Blair parlayed his outstanding collegiate success into a solid 8 season career as a professional in the CFL.
1986 - Blake Marshall - Western - Edmonton Eskimos
Blake Marshall succeeded his older brother Greg as a star running back with the Western Mustangs. Blake followed the steps of his brother again with the Hec Crighton Award Greg won the Award in 1984 and was a Edmonton Eskimo draft pick. Blake would capture the 1986 Hec Crighton Award and also join the Edmonton Eskimos as the #5 overall pick in the 1987 amateur draft. Where injuries had brought a premature end to Gregs pro career Blake would enjoy 8 productive seasons as a powerful fullback for the Eskimos. Blake was named the leagues Most Outstanding Canadian in 1991 while leading the league with 16 rushing and 4 receiving touchdowns. He also captured the Grey Cup in 1987 his first season in the league.
1983 - Greg Vavra - Calgary - Calgary BC
Greg Vavra was a collegiate superman with the Calgary Dinos. He led the Dinos to the Vanier Cup in 1983 and captured the Hec Crighton award for his efforts. A superb athlete with great instincts the struggling Stampeders made the home town hero the clubs starting quarterback in his rookie season. It was a lot for the freshman to handle and he struggled as did the team to a 4-12 record. Vavra would not have another sustained opportunity as a starter in the CFL and after 6 seasons in the league with Calgary and BC he retired from professional football.
1977 - Bob Cameron - Acadia - Winnipeg
Bob Cameron won the Hec Crighton Award in 1977 after a stellar 4 year career with the Acadia Axeman. Cameron was the teams quarterback and punter and led the team to back-to-back Vanier Cup appearances. It was Camerons abilities as a punter that would result in a lengthy hall of fame career in the CFL. The start did not come easy for Cameron after a failed try-out with the Buffalo Bills Cameron would bounce around the CFL trying to find a home first with Edmonton and B.C. before finally landing with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 1980 as a punter. From there Bob would spend 23 productive seasons as a premiere punter as a 4 time CFL all-star he would also win 3 Grey Cup championships with Winnipeg. A testament to perseverance and longevity Cameron was elected into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame with the class of 2010.
1975 - Brian Fryer - Alberta - Edmonton Ottawa
Brian Fryer was a star receiver at the University of Alberta who captured the 1975 Hec Crighton he set a CIS record for receiving in 1974 with 1,068 yards and compiled 943 yards receiving when he was awarded the top honour. His exploits caught the attention of the Washington Redskins who selected him in the 8th round of the 1976 NFL draft. he would spend 2 seasons with Washington seeing game action as a kick returner, injuries would end his time in the NFL. The Edmonton native would join the Eskimos in 1978 as a territorial exemption and go on to capture 5 consecutive Grey Cups with the Edmonton dynasty. His finest season as a pro was 1982 when he compiled 812 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns. After a brief stint with the Ottawa Rough Riders in 1985 he would return to the Eskimos to conclude his playing career. A top CIS talent who played in both the NFL and CFL Brian Fryer was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2013.
1967 - Mike Eben - U of Toronto - Toronto Edmonton Ottawa
Mike Eben captured the Hec Crighton Award in 1967 the 1st year of the awards existence. Eben set numerous Canadian College football records at receiver over his 4 years with the University of Toronto Varsity Blues. He obtained a Phd in German from the University of Toronto. The Czech native started and would spend the majority of his career with the Toronto Argonauts. He spent 1 season in the Western Division in 1970 with the Edmonton Eskimos where he was named a West All-Star. Eben captured East All Star selections with Toronto in 1972 and 1976. His best season was with the Argonauts in 1975 when he totalled a career high 63 catches for 729 yards. Mike would retire to a career as a language teacher after the 1977 CFL season.
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