TORONTO — Young stars and Canadian talent dominated the headlines this season and today many of those players are being honoured as the Canadian Football League will hand out some well-deserved hardware for the 2012 Gibson’s Finest CFL Player Awards tonight in Toronto..
“In a year that we are celebrating the 100th Grey Cup and our proud history, it was truly amazing to see today’s players perform at such a high level and set so many major CFL records,” said CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon.
This year’s East and West Division winners combined to set four major CFL single season records including most combined yards (Chad Owens), most rushing yards by a Canadian (Jon Cornish), most kick return touchdowns (Chris Williams) and most tackles (JC Sherritt). Williams and Sherritt were the 2011 East and West Division Most Outstanding Rookies, respectively.
This year’s nominees are:
Jon Cornish (CGY) Chad Owens (TOR)
JC Sherritt (EDM) Shea Emry (MTL)
Jon Cornish (CGY) Shea Emry (MTL)
Tim Brown (BC) Chris Williams (HAM)
Jabar Westerman (BC) Chris Matthews (WPG)
Jovan Olafioye (BC) Josh Bourke (MTL)
Cornish could become the first Canadian player to be named CFL Most Outstanding Player since Tony Gabriel in 1978. Only two Canadian players have been named the CFL Most Outstanding Player – Gabriel (1978) and Russ Jackson (1969, 1966, 1963). The last Canadian player to be named the CFL Most Outstanding Defensive Player was Brent Johnson in 2006. Only three Canadian Players have been named the CFL Most Outstanding Defensive Player – Johnson (2006), Dave Fennell (1978) and Bill Baker (1976).
The East and West Player Award winners were selected by 70 voters, including members of the Football Reporters of Canada (FRC) and CFL head coaches.
Voters were asked to select players from their local CFL division who, through on-field performance excellence, best represent the awards’ title – Most Outstanding Player, Most Outstanding Canadian Player, Most Outstanding Defensive Player, Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman, Most Outstanding Rookie and Most Outstanding Special Teams Player.
The 2012 Gibson’s Finest CFL Player Awards will be handed out on Thursday, November 22 at Koerner Hall in downtown Toronto. Tickets for the show are available at ticketmaster.ca or by calling (416) 341-ARGO. Awards show tickets also provide access to the TELUS Players Party at the MTCC which features performances by some of the hottest names in Canadian music including K’naan, Kardinal Offishall, Mia Martina and Kreesha Turner.