Volume 92, Issue 6

Friday, September 11, 1998

oshfrosh b'gosh


Mustangs eye Yates Cup rematch

By John Dinner
Sports Editor

Ever since the disappointing 30-10 loss to the Waterloo Warriors in last year's Yates Cup, coach Larry Haylor and the rest of the gridiron Mustangs have been anxious to exact their just revenge.

The Mustangs will be led on offense by three returning stars from last year – running back Mike Laszlo, second leading rusher in Canada the last two seasons, captain Craig Higgins, a 250-pound fullback and quarterback Mike O'Brien, a second-year starter who Haylor said "was turning a lot of heads at camp this summer with all his improvements and growth."

Haylor also pointed to the depth and experience of the offensive line to be a key factor in controlling the ball this season and he expects to be able to go two players deep at each position. One player who is looking to make a regular contribution to the team is the versatile six-foot-five, 285-pound lineman Tim Bakker, a third-year player from Oakville Trafalgar High School.

"We've got a real strong team as we only lost one lineman (to graduation)," Haylor said. "We have no headcases on this team and that's important because we've got to remain calm when things don't go our way. Last year against Mac, we sort of lost our focus and that resulted in a tie."

The one weakness for the offense is the passing game, with fourth-year wideout Dan Disley, the only legitimate big play threat. That means more pressure on the front line and running backs.

The defense of the Mustang football team will be relied on early to dictate the play, as the offense settles into its groove against the Marauders. With the graduation of seven starters from last year's defense, it would be expected that there would be some glaring holes in this year's line-up. According to defensive coordinator Bob LaRose, this is not the case.

"Despite the losses from last year, I would say that this is probably the most talented defense we've had here in a number of years," he said. "We're an exciting young defense that will apply a lot of pressure on the ball."

The strength of this defense is the secondary, led by veterans Ryan Lyons and Jeff Heslop.

"We've got to get out there running and hitting people. The key for our defense is our spirit and energy," Lyons said. "Our corners are outstanding, we've got good overall team speed and we really mesh well as a group."

The season and its successes will depend on the wars in the trenches. The offensive line hopes to use its experience and size to control the ground game, while the defensive line stays healthy. The Mustangs feel this should be able to put them in a position to face Waterloo once again in the Yates Cup.


No Name Pos

1 Wilson, Alan DB
2 Jones, Tim DB
4 Lyons, Ryan DB
5 Aiken, Kristopher DB
7 Sanschagrin, Alexis DB
9 Rayne, Fabian RB
10 Prescott, James WR
11 Hessel, Chris QB
12 O'Brien Mike QB/P
13 Twible, Cameron DB
14 McLeod, Adam DB
15 Disley, Dan WR
17 Haynes, Preston WR
18 Hatfield, Tim WR
20 Pepe, Tony RB
21 Krumme, Randolph DB
22 Fricano, Giulio K/P
23 Tiede, Chris DB
24 Crawley, Scott RB
25 Krumme, Raymond IR
26 Edwards, Dave SB
27 Fabiana, Darryl DB
28 Van Niekirk, Matt DB
29 Rumball, Adam LB
30 Laszlo, Mike RB
31 Proctor, Jeff K
32 Kavaliauskas, Jonas LB
33 Higgins, Craig RB
34 Morgan, Peter SB
35 Devine, Shaun LB
36 Heslop, Jeff DB
37 Foy, Michael LB
38 Ewart, Jamie DB
39 Anania, Justin LB
40 Congdon, Jason LB
41 Readings, Eddie LB
42 Chortos, Mark LB
43 Dunbrack, Kevin LB
44 Richter, Craig LB
45 Najum, Jason LB
50 Page, Sean DL
51 D'angelo, Enzo LB
52 Chuk, Mike OL
53 Hill, Jonathan OL
54 Sussex, Aaron OL
55 Pasel, Mike DL
56 Dobaczewski, Andy DL
60 Beuerman, Dennis OL
61 Palinsky, Blaine DL
62 Meston, Dennis DL
63 Moore, Geoff OL
64 Faulkner, Mark DL
65 Forsythe, Jamie OL
66 Blenkhorn, Paul OL
67 Abou-Mechrek, Mike OL
68 Bakker, Tim OL
70 Ravazzolo, Ryan IR
71 Spasic, Nick TE
72 Hunter, Steve IR
73 Ayres, Kevin DL
74 Clark, Hudson IR
76 Paulikot, Cameron DB
78 Surmacz, Chris LB

Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator: Larry Haylor
Defensive Coordinator: Bob LaRose


1997 Record: 6-1, first in OUA, lost 30-10 in Yates Cup to Waterloo Warriors

Pre-season Ranking: 8th

Season Opener: Tomorrow at McMaster

Home Opener: Sept. 19 vs. Laurier Golden Hawks

Key Players: RB Mike Laszlo, second in OUA rushing; FBs Ryan Higgins and Fabian Rayne; QB Mike O'Brien; OTs Paul Blenkhorn and Mike Abou-Mechrek; DBs Ryan Lyons and Jeff Heslop; LBs Adam Rumball and Jonas Kavaliauskas.

Gone from last year: seven starters on defense including two-time all-Canadian LB Roger Dunback, now with the Toronto Argos, and second team all-Canadian LB Derek Krete.

Forecast: The first half of the season is where this squad will be tested with their toughest game of the season coming on Oct. 3 against fourth ranked Waterloo. The 'Stangs should then roll through the second half into the playoffs where they will once again meet Waterloo in the Yates Cup.

To Contact The Sports Department: gazette.sports@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998