The Waterloo Warriors football team received good news April 13. Two players were selected to participate in the annual East-West Bowl, being held at McGill University in Montreal May 10-14.</p>
Wide receiver Blair McKay and defensive back Jordan Hoover earned the honour after exceptional performances over this year’s 2015-2016 season. McKay, a 5-10, 190-pound Waterford native studying kinesiology, posted an impressive 21 receptions, running 207 yards, numbers that paced the entire team. Hoover is a 6-2, 190-pound legal studies major hailing from Sault Ste. Marie who had an equally impressive defensive year. His five interceptions and 20 tackles lead the Warriors defensively.
In a rather odd turn of events with the CIS selections, both Warriors will be playing on opposite teams, with Hoover suiting up for the West team and McKay on the East. Generally, the OUA universities would be chosen for the West (with the exception of Carleton, Queen’s, Ottawa, and Toronto), but this year McKay was selected for the East due to a quirk in the new selection process.
The event has been held annually for 14 straight years, and this will be the second time in a row the event is hosted by McGill. The East-West Bowl is an excellent opportunity for young players to show off their skills, as scouts from the CFL frequent it. All athletes participating in the East-West Bowl are eligible for the 2017 CFL Canadian College Draft. Last year, 44 CIS players were selected in the 2015 CFL Canadian Draft and 32 of these players had participated in previous East-West Bowl games.
Over four days, selected players will take part in multiple practices led by all-star coaching staff, a CFL free agent camp, and a student-athlete combine that will allow the scouts to really see what the players can do. A banquet for all participating athletes will be held on May 13, followed by the main event — the game itself — the day after.
While the West historically has the edge in wins in the big game, the East has been slowly creeping back and is looking to tie the all-time record at seven games each. The East has won five of the past six East-West Bowl games, including a 29-21 victory last year.
The game will take place at the Percival Molson Memorial Stadium in Montreal at 1 p.m. on May 14. It will be available to watch live on the CIS website at CIS-SIC.tv.