2012 regular season record: 2-6
2012 regular season standings: 7th in OUA
2012 playoff record: N/A
The Lions continued their upward movement in the OUA standings last year, finishing in seventh place and just out of a playoff spot. The squad won two games – over rival Toronto in the Red & Blue Bowl and against the Ottawa Gee-Gees – and lost three other games by a combined nine points.
With an older, more experienced team and a burning desire to be successful, this year’s Lions are looking to take the next step in the conference and finish among the top six to qualify for the playoffs. The offence, which finished 2012 ranked third in the OUA with 411.8 yards per game, will continue to be the focus of the team with several talented players on both the line and at the skill positions. The defence, meanwhile, is another year older and the student-athletes will be looking to build upon what they learned last season.
The returning players will be complemented in the line-up by a large recruiting class that is the best in the three years head coach Warren Craney has been at the helm of the program. Craney and his staff recruited both locally and nationally and were successful in bringing in top-level talent and many key positions.
Quote from head coach:
“This is a big year for our program. We have changed our focus from modest, attainable goals to goals that challenge our players, and this year we are looking to be a playoff team. This is the first year since I took over the program that the team is made up almost entirely of kids we recruited, and I am looking forward to seeing them continue to grow on the gridiron.”
- Warren Craney, Head Football Coach
Head Coach: Warren Craney
- Number of seasons as head coach with team (including 2012): 3
- Number of seasons as head coach in CIS (including 2012): 3
- Career regular season record with team: 3-21
- Career regular season record in CIS: 3-21
- Career overall record with team (reg. season & playoffs only): 3-21
- Career overall record in CIS (reg. season & playoffs only): 3-21
Number of returning starters: 8
Key returning players:
QB Myles Gibbon (Montreal) returns for his fifth and final season of eligibility, and second at York. He was one of only two quarterbacks, and the only one from the CIS, to participate in the 2013 CFL Combine. Last season he was the team’s offensive MVP after finishing third in the OUA in passing yards (1,992) and fifth in passing touchdowns (nine); while also rushing for 457 yards and two TDs, the second most rushing yards by a quarterback.
WR Will Austin (St. Catharines, Ont.) earned OUA second-team all-star honours for the first time in his career. He ranked seventh in the OUA in receiving yards last season (587) and was ninth in receptions (34).
OL Max Sullivan (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.) started five games on the offensive line and earned the team’s Mike Benevides Lineman of the Year Award for the second straight season.
Key recruits or transfers:
RB Connor Anderson (Newmarket, Ont.)
WR Jarrett Carson (Brossard, Que.)
WR Jason Charland (Quebec City, Que.)
OL Trevor King (Regina, Sask.)
OL Jon Ravn (Cambridge, Ont.)
RB Kyle Exume, WR Nathaniel Griffith
Number of returning starters: 11
LB Hussein Hazime (Toronto) returns for his third season. He has started all 16 games in his first two years, leading the Lions in tackles each season (total of 88.5). He was 20th in the OUA last year with 3.5 sacks and in his rookie year earned the team’s MVP award. His brother, Hasan, is a defensive lineman with the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
DB Josh Small (Pickering, Ont.) started seven games at cornerback in his rookie season last year and won the team’s rookie of the year award. He tied for fifth in the OUA with three interceptions and was fifth on the team with 25 tackles.
DE James Tuck (Aurora, Ont.) started all eight games at defensive end last year after two seasons as a linebacker. He made an immediate impact on the line, ranking seventh in the OUA with 6.5 sacks and second on the team with 33 tackles. He earned the team’s defensive MVP award and participated in the 2013 East West Bowl.
DL Cole Austen (Barrie, Ont.)
DB Samir Boulazreg (Mississauga, Ont.)
DB Shakim Bennett (Burlington, Ont.)
LB Hanson Wainkem (Mississauga, Ont.)
DB Andrew Collymore, DE Patrick Russell
DE James Tuck (Aurora, Ont.)
RET Errol Brooks (Toronto)
P/K Kevin Kitamura (Richmond Hill, Ont.)
P/K Nick Naylor (Abbotsford, B.C.)
RET Damone Williams (Mississauga, Ont.)