2009-2010 Season Tickets Now Available at BisonFans.ca
Single game admission $10 for Adults $5 for students/seniors children 5 and under are free. Tickets available at the Frank Kennedy Customer Service Desk and on site at any Bison Home Game.
Team: Manitoba Bisons
Name of Stadium: University Stadium
Conference: Canada West
2008 Canada West Standings finish?: 5th place with 6 points
2008 Canada West Tournament/Playoff placing?: Did not qualify for playoffs
2008 CIS Nationals Placing?: Did not qualify for playoffs
2008 Overall Record?: 3-5
2008 Conference Record?: 3-5
Last Canada West Title?: 2007
Last CIS Title?: 2007
Two years removed from winning their third Vanier Cup Championship in team history, the Manitoba Bisons football team seeks to rebound from missing the playoffs for only the third time in the last decade (out of playoffs in 2008, 2004 and 2003). The Herd had an impressive 2009 recruiting class by head coach Brian Dobie (heading into his 14th season at the Bisons helm). The recruits add depth and skill at numerous positions on both sides of the ball plus the returning players will continue to make a major impact in Canada West action during the 2009 season.
One of the major changes will be at the quarterback position, where Vanier Cup MVP John Makie graduated and will now hand over the reins of the Bisons’ offense to fifth year pivot Nathan Friesen. Friesen has seen previous action as the starting quarterback in 2008 and has been with the program for the last three seasons. Friesen resume also includes winning the Wally Buono Award, which recognizing Canada's top junior football player, in 2006. Along with a change in quarterback, there will be a new receivers corp to throw to as past Vanier Cup stars Terry Firr, Simon Blaszczak, Steve Gronick, Mike Mizerski and Randy Simmons will not be back with Manitoba. Second year slotback players Clancy Doiron and Stu Schollaardt will build on their solid rookie campaigns and will be complement with recruits wideouts Jeremy Botelho, who was at Winnipeg Blue Bombers training camp in 2009, and wide receiver Terry Mauldin from Windsor AKO, the same school as Firr.
The Bisons will be strong again with the running game as last season’s conference third leading rusher Matt Henry returns for his fourth season as will returning tailback and last season conference offense player of the week star James Gerardy. On the offensive line, Canada West All-Star Ryan Karhut is back with the Bisons after last season on the Montreal Alouettes practice roster plus recruits Scott Johnson, 2008 CJFL All-Canadian, Andrew Kochan, selected co-winner of the WHSFL’s 2008 Harry Hood Memorial Award while with St. Paul’s H.S., and Jaret Thurier, First Team All-Star with Westgate H.S., will bolster an already experienced OL led by CIS All-Canadian Kurtis Stolth.
In 2008, the Bisons flexed the number one run defense and number two pass defense in the conference and the majority of the defense players return from that unit. The Herd lost defensive lineman and CIS All-Canadian Don Oramasionwu to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers but have veterans Eddie Steele and Wyatt Jacobi back along with stellar defensive lineman recruits in Ian DeGannes-Shaw from St. Mary’s University, Jesse Schryver, three-time Junior All-Star for Edmonton Wildcats, Evan Prokipchuk, from University of Ottawa, Randeep Dhesi, All-Star with Victoria Rebels and Clifton Lewis, All-Star with Vancouver Trojans.
At linebackers, Vanier Cup veteran Jim Jeavons, second year player Thomas Hall plus recruits John Tietzmann, 2008 CJFL All-Canadian with South Surrey Big Kahuna Rams and Justin Clayton, All-Star for Winnipeg Rifles will off-set the graduation of Canada West All-Star Kenton Onofrychuk. The secondary remains virtually intact with Bison veterans Teague Sherman, Andrew James, Corey Brown, Marlon Azurdia, Pete Adams, Grayson Wells, Garrett Zazula, Justin Kasak and Owen Fergusson all back to patrol the passing game.
Dobie stressed the importance of bouncing back and making the playoffs in 2009. It will be a very competitive Canada West conference and the Bisons expect to be right back in the post-season mix and start another run towards a Vanier Cup.
Quote from head coach:
Head coach Brian Dobie heads into his 14th season at the helm of the BIsons and discussed the prospects for the 2009 season. “I think that any of the perceived pressure we might have felt about defending the Vanier Cup is gone. This year, we look at this group as essentially the beginning of a ‘new cycle’ and its own entity. It is a interesting squad from a returning veteran base from 2008 along with a good recruiting class that definitely gives us a reason to believe heading into this year.”