The AFL distributed 38 total awards, comprised of major individual awards winners, plus offensive, defensive and special teams’ all-stars.
Individual AFL award winners for the ‘Canes were Jerome Tshimpangila as the Defensive Player of the Year, Justice Grant as the Rookie of the Year and Jack Malo as the Special Teams Player of the Year.
Tshimpangila, a second-year player from Moncton, NB, was a leader on the Hurricanes defensive unit. The linebacker was a statistical leader in tackles and sacks across the league while also contributing with two interceptions this season. Tshimpangila is a Marketing and Advertising Management student at Holland College.
Grant, a first-year player from Toronto, ON, quickly adapted to the collegiate level of play this season, improving each time he stepped foot on the field. The defensive back played his best football in the second half of the season, contributing with tackles, sacks, interceptions and fumble recoveries at key points in the game. Grant is a Sport and Leisure Management student at Holland College.
Jack Malo, a second-year player from Barrie, ON, caused nightmares to opponents on special teams this season as a returner. A leader for the Hurricanes, he contributed to the ‘Canes offence this season with quality kick and punt returns, scoring multiple touchdowns. He could also be relied on the defensive side of the football, recording four interceptions and three fumble recoveries this season for the ‘Canes. Malo is a Sport and Leisure Management student at Holland College.
The ‘Canes also had 12 players named to league all-star teams.
Marco Antonio Briones-Gutierrez was named to the offensive team at the running back position while Matthew Uriah Kaye-Mitchell was recognized at the receiver’s position. Linemen, Colin Cepecauer and Griffin Quigley, rounded out Hurricanes named to the offensive all-star team.
Defensively, AJ Fields and Tyler Hobbs were named as two of five all-star linemen with Tshimpangila named as a linebacker. Jack Malo, Max Malo and Justice Grant were recognized at the defensive back position.
On special teams, the ‘Canes took home two of three awards, with Jack Malo (returner) and Kaye-Mitchell (punter) being selected.
Head coach, Steve Letner, was happy to see so many Hurricanes players recognized by the AFL following his first season at the helm.
“We’re very proud of the student-athletes recognized, plus those that had strong seasons but were not selected for awards. The hard work and determination of our team this year is well represented by these all stars and award winners for 2019.”
After falling to 1-3 this regular season, the Hurricanes gained momentum entering the playoffs by winning their final two regular season games.
As the number three seed, the ‘Canes continued their strong play by defeating the Dalhousie University Tigers in Halifax, NS, 23-17, in semi-final action, punching their ticket to the AFL Championship game for the eighth time in the last nine years.
Holding the lead late in the championship game, the Hurricanes would ultimately fall to the University of New Brunswick (UNB) Red Bombers after a touchdown was scored in the final minute of play.
The Hurricanes are tied for the most championships in AFL history with four, claiming the title in 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015.
For more information on the Atlantic Football League, visit www.atlanticfootball.co.
For more information about this release, please contact:
Daniel Cudmore, Athletics Development and Communications Coordinator
Tel: (902) 894-6870
Date: Tuesday, November 26, 2019