Volume 91, Issue 45

Wednesday, November 19, 1997

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SPORTS
 

Two Mustangs rated top in Canada



Dunbrack (L), Blenkhorn


By Alex Chiang

Gazette Staff

Mustang defensive end Roger Dunbrack and offensive tackle Paul Blenkhorn were named to the first-team all-Canadian squad when the list of the CIAU's best football players was released on Saturday.

Blenkhorn, a third-year player from Sarnia, became the first Mustang offensive lineman to gain first-team all-Canadian status since guard P.J. Gleason did so in 1994.

Blenkhorn took over the starting role mid-way through his freshman year in 1995 and showed a great degree of promise, however, he had an inconsistent sophomore campaign that failed to meet both his own and the coaching staff's expectations.

"There wasn't much improvement and maybe that was a motivator for him this season," Mustang head coach Larry Haylor said. "He's very demanding of himself and he came into training camp much quicker and more explosive."

Blenkhorn admitted he had to rebound from a poor season, but was modest when it came to commenting on his individual achievement this year.

"I was a bit surprised," Blenkhorn said when asked whether he expected to be named an all-Canadian. "I don't come into a season looking to achieve personal goals. Our offensive line had such a great season that any number of players could have made it."

Like Blenkhorn, Dunbrack, a fourth-year Dundas native, lived up to expectations – leading the Mustangs in sacks with eight and was third on the team in tackles with 33. This is the second consecutive year Dunbrack has earned all-Canadian status and he is also the OUA's nominee for the J.P. Metras Trophy (to be announced Friday) which is given to the country's top lineman.

"I don't think Roger's missed a single down in his career at Western," Haylor said. "It's a tremendous tribute to his preparation and work ethic."

While Blenkhorn will be back for another shot at the Vanier Cup with the 'Stangs next season, Dunbrack plans on making the jump to the professional ranks.

Waterloo had the most first-team all-Canadians in the OUA with running back Jarrett Smith, linebacker Jason Van Geel and kicker Arek Bigos getting the nod. York stand-out wide receiver Andre Batson also made the team. Earning second-team all-Canadian honours from Western were linebacker Derek Krete and defensive back Todd MacKay, both of whom made the first-team last year and were playing out their final season with the team.


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Copyright The Gazette 1997