Though the Huskies’ regrettable finish in the 2009 Canada West final is likely still fresh in many players’ minds, the Dogs’ primary core has remained intact, again solidifying them as serious contenders for the approaching season.
Preseason training camp kicked off on Aug. 20 for the Huskies at Griffiths Stadium on the U of S campus. Including new players and recruits, a total of 95 Dogs attended the camp, which ran until Aug. 26.
Falling short by a single point in 2009’s Hardy Cup final against the Calgary Dinos due to a field goal gone wide, the Huskies just missed the Vanier Cup express. Nonetheless, the Huskies posted an impressive 7-1 regular season record prior to their premature postseason departure.
For the most part, a veteran roster will compose the 2010 installment of Huskies football. Lost are defensive corners John Kranbill and Grant Shaw. Shaw, who emerged as an impeccable punter in 2009, is now enjoying a starting slot on the Toronto Argonauts lineup as a kicker.
Shaw will be replaced by kicker Steven MacDonald who will look to fill the expansive gap of talent left by the Edmonton native.
“On paper we’re good, we have a lot of returning people, we have veteran leadership — we had a great year last year and the majority of those people are back,” said Huskies head coach Brian Towriss on the topic of the 2010 Huskies roster.
“We’ve lost both corners on defence, one linebacker and on offence we’ve lost a couple of receivers. But for the most part we’re a veteran team and (we) should be pretty solid in most areas,” commented Towriss.
Huskies starting quarterback Laurence Nixon is heading into his fifth year with the Green and White and Towriss is confident the veteran gunslinger will continue to produce.
“I think Laurence is going to have a great year. He’s worked hard, he’s strong, he’s throwing the ball really well and he’s everything we want,” said Towriss.
Originally from Richmond, B.C., Nixon started every game with the Huskies during the 2009 Canada West season with 157 completions on 251 attempts for five touchdowns.
“We have to go out and protect him and he’s got to distribute the ball cause we have some good guys to give the football to,” added Towriss.
The Huskies will clock in on some pre-season action and have their first non-conference game of the year on Aug. 27 at Griffiths Stadium when the Dogs clash with the University of Western Ontario Mustangs at 7 p.m.
Season ticket packages are ready for pick up at the Physical Activity Complex during regular business hours between Monday and Friday.
image: Robby Davis