Congratulations to Cam Thorn, Andrew Graham, Taylor Palmer, Cam Walker, Jake Piotrowski and A’dre Fraser on their selection to the OUA All Star teams!
Thorn, a fifth year veteran playing a new position, and Graham, a redshirt freshman who saw his first OUA action this fall, made the First Team unit. Palmer, Walker, Piotrowski and Fraser were named to the Second Team. Walker and Fraser were named All Stars for the second consecutive year.
The six OUA All Star selections to the 2013 team is down from eight in 2012. I see two obvious reasons for that. First, the 2012 squad had more 4th and 5th year players and the All Star voting tends to favour known commodities. Second, several Gryphons who were obvious, or potential, All Stars missed a significant number of games because of injuries. It’s impossible to think that TB Rob Farquharson and LB John Rush wouldn’t have been repeat selections if not for injuries. DT Jeff Finley and DB Colin Mandich would have merited serious consideration if not for each missing multiple games.
Thorn, a 6-foot-5, 290-pound offensive lineman capped off an outstanding five-year career with the Gryphons in 2013. He was drafted by the B.C. Lions in the seventh round in 2012 and is a first team all-star for the first time in his career. He is joined on the first-team by 5-foot-10 rush/cover Andrew Graham. The rookie had 19 special teams tackles as well as 2.5 sacks and one interception this season.
Jakob Piotrowski returned from injury in 2013 to represent the Gryphons on the OUA second team. The 6-foot-4, 290-pound offensive tackle was selected 41st overall in the fifth round in 2012 by the Montreal Alouettes. This is Piotrowski’s first OUA all-star award. He is joined on offence by sophomore A’dre Fraser. The 6-foot, 175 pound returner led the team in kick return yards with a total of 205 yards and a long of 49, averaging 25.63 yards per carry. He also had 472 yards on punt returns. This is Fraser’s second nod as an all-star, in 2012 he was named a first-team kick returner.
Leading one of the top defences in the OUA this year were Cam Walker and Taylor Palmer. Walker, a 6-foot-4, 235 pound defensive end earned his second all-star nod after tallying 26.5 tackles and four sacks in 2013. Palmer, a fourth-year defensive half, had his best statistical season for the team in 2013 and earns his first all-star nod. Starting all eight games, the 6-foot-1 set career bests for tackles (26), interceptions (5) and breakups (2).