It’s been a record-breaking season. And, it’s a season that Kurleigh Gittens Jr. hopes will continue.
The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks’ receiver has been named Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Most Valuable Player and the conference nominee for the U SPORTS Hec Crighton Trophy, which is awarded annually to the most outstanding Canadian football player in U Sports.
The Ottawa native hauled in an OUA and U SPORTS season record of 75 receptions, and had a nation-leading 953 receiving yards.
The third-year sociology major also led the nation with 1,665 all-purpose yards and seven touchdowns; six receiving and one punt return.
In addition, he was named a First-Team All-Star on both offence and special teams.
Gittens Jr. becomes the first Laurier OUA MVP since 2014, when running back Dillon Campbell received the OUA honours, and the school’s fifth recipient all-time, joining Bill Kubas (1994), Ken Evraine (1987), and Jim Reid (1977).
The Laurier Golden Hawks meet the Western Mustangs in London on Nov. 11, for the Yates Cup, which is the OUA championship.
The winner of that game will travel east to meet the winner of the AUS (Atlantic University Sport) championship game between Saint Mary’s Huskies and the Acadia Axemen, which is also being played Nov. 11.
At a news conference in Burlington on Thursday, the OUA also announced the other major award winners for the 2017 season:
President’s Trophy (Outstanding Stand-Up Defensive Player) – Jackson Bennett, uOttawa Gee-Gees
J.P. Metras Trophy (Lineman of the Year) – Kene Onyeka, Carleton Ravens
Norm Marshall Trophy (Rookie of the Year) – Tre Ford, Waterloo Warriors
Dave “Tuffy” Knight Award (Coach of the Year) – Chris Bertoia, Waterloo Warriors
Russ Jackson Award Nominee – Nicolas Vanin, Western University
Volunteer Coach of the Year – Paul Gleason, Western University
Ken Green OUA Football Officials Award of Merit – Kevin Horton
The Canadian university football season will culminate Saturday, Nov. 25, when the 53rd ArcelorMittal Dofasco Vanier Cup will be played at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton.
The game will be heard on 900 CHML.