Mac looking to buck anti-Ontario trend
By Richard Zussman, QMI Agency
|Laval Rouge et Or's coach Glen Constantin (right) and McMaster Marauders coach Stefan Ptaszek pose for a photo after the official Vanier Cup press conference at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, BC, November, 22, 2011. (Richard Lam/QMI Agency)
VANCOUVER - The Vanier Cup has not been kind to Ontario.
In the past 15 years, of the 30 teams playing for the national university football championship, only three of the teams have come from the Ontario conference.
But since 2004, things have slowly started to turn around. The Wilfred Laurier Golden Hawks claimed the crown in 2005 and the Queen's Gaels won in 2009. The McMaster Marauders are hoping to lift the trophy for Ontario again Friday.
"Through the late '90s and the early 2000s we were younger and inexperienced relative to other conferences. We struggled with the west having junior football and the east having CEGEP," said McMaster coach Stefan Ptaszek. "If all conference are equal, every four years you should win at least once and since '05 we have been winning."
Ptaszek was part of the coaching staff in 2005 that helped lead Laurier to the title. The CIS decided in the early 2000s to change the eligibility rules, mandating that players had to finish their university playing career within eight years of graduating from high school. The Quebec conference has benefited in the past from using older and more physically mature players.
"The age is a bit different, our grass-roots program in terms of CGEP is outstanding. When the kids come to school, they are better prepared than if they came straight from high school," said Laval head coach Glen Constantin following practice on Wednesday.