2012 CIS Football Team Preview: McMaster Marauders

2012 CIS Football Team Preview: McMaster Marauders

Source: McMaster Sports Info

2011 regular season record: 7-1
2011 regular season standings: 2nd in OUA
2011 playoff record: 4-0
2011 playoff finish: won 41-38 2OT vs. Laval in Vanier Cup

The Marauders had their best season in school history in 2011 winning their first Vanier Cup defeating the Laval Rouge et Or 41-38 in double overtime in the CIS National Championship game.

McMaster returns 17 of 24 starters on offence and defence, plus first team All-Canadian kicker Tyler Crapigna on specials, from last year's team. The offence will again be led by All-Canadian and Vanier Cup MVP quarterback Kyle Quinlan. The Marauders will start the season without OUA MVP Michael DiCroce after he injured his foot during training camp; DiCroce is expected to return during the regular season. At running back the Marauders will have to look to new faces to handle the primary rushing responsibilities as 2011 leading rusher Chris Pezzetta will miss the season with a knee injury.  

On defense the Marauders lose OUA stand up defensive player of the year Ryan Chmielewski, but they return their entire defensive secondary. The secondary also adds Junior National team member Keldyn Ahlstedt. The defensive line is where the Marauders will have to replace three of four starters, but returning players Shane Beaton, Ben D'Aguilar, and Kareem Ferreira all made contributions during the 2011 season and will likely bolster the line in 2012.

Just as they did in 2011 the Marauders dropped a close exhibition contest to Laval in Quebec City despite leading for much of the game. Despite the loss the Marauders will open the 2012 regular season as the number one ranked team in the Country.

Quote from head coach:

“We have a very talented group of both coaches and players. If we can learn to function as one team and not 100 individuals, the sky is the limit.”

Head Coach:

- Number of seasons as head coach with team (including 2012): 7
- Number of seasons as head coach in CIS (including 2012): 7
- Career regular season record with team: 34-14 (71%)
- Career regular season record in CIS: 34-14 (71%) 
- Career overall record with team (reg. season & playoffs only): 40-19 (68%)
- Career overall record in CIS (reg. season & playoffs only): 40-19 (68%)

OFFENCE

Number of returning starters: 9

Key returning players:

#12 Kyle Quinlan
Position: QB
Height: 6-3
Weight: 210
Class: Fourth Year
Hometown: South Woodslee, Ont.
High School: Cardinal Carter SS  

• In one of the greatest CIS football games ever played racked up 482 yards and two majors on 36-of-55 passing while also rushing for a team-high 106 yards in 2011 Vanier; Marauder offence tied the single-game record with 41 first downs, while their 675 yards of total offence and 25 first downs through the air rank second in Vanier Cup history.
• Over four 2011 post-season contests averaged 335 yards passing and another 92.5 on the ground, threw for 11 touchdown passes and guided his team to four straight 40-plus-point performances.
• 2011-12 Golden Horseshoe Athlete of the Year, OUA Male Athlete of the Year (CIS BLG Nominee), McMaster Male Athlete of the Year
• 2011 CIS Vanier Cup MVP, CIS Uteck Bowl MVP, OUA Yates Cup MVP
• 2011 CIS All-Canadian 2nd Team, OUA All-Star 1st Team
• 2011 CIS Football Player of the Week, OUA Athlete of the Week, OUA Football Player of the Week  
• 2011 Marauder Offensive MVP
• attended second straight CFL evaluation camp and team training camp (Montreal Alouettes 2012, Hamilton Tiger-Cats 2011)

#1 Michael DiCroce
Position: WR
Height: 5-11
Weight: 190
Class: Second Year
Hometown: Hamilton, Ont.
High School: Bishop Ryan Catholic SS

- 2011 OUA MVP
- 1st team All-Canadian
- led OUA conference and CIS in receiving yards per game with 904 yards

#61 Jason Medeiros
Position: OL
Height: 6-4
Weight: 315
Class: First Year
Hometown: Hamilton, Ont.
High School: St Thomas More H S

- 2nd team All-Canadian in 2011
- 1st team OUA All-Star in 2011
- Returns after attending Tiger-Cats training camp this summer.

Key recruits or transfers:

Aaron-Mitchell Baker
Position: WR
Height: 5-9
Weight: 187
Class: First Year
Hometown: Scarborough, Ont.
High School: Brother Andre Catholic H S

David Hazell
Position: RB
Height: 5-9
Weight: 195
Class: First Year
Hometown: Stoney Creek, Ont.
High School: Bishop Ryan Catholic SS

#55 Cody Speller
Position: OL
Height: 6-3
Weight: 172
Class: First Year
Hometown: Caistor Centre, Ont.
High School: South Lincoln H S

Key losses:

RB Chris Pezzetta
- Out for the season with knee injury.
- Led the team in rushing in 2011 with 468 yards on 67 attempts with 5 touchdowns.  

WR Matthew Peressini
- Second on team in receiving in 2011 with 436 yards on 36 catches.
- Led the team in touchdowns in 2011 with 8
- tied for McMaster career receiving TD's with 19
- 5th in McMaster career receiving yards with 1823

RB Joey Nemet
- Second on team in rushing in 2011 with 315 yards on 66 attempts.
- set McMaster record for most rushes in a career in 2011
- moved to second all-time on McMaster career rushing list in 2011

DEFENCE

Number of returning starters: 8

Key returning players:

#42 Aram Eisho
Position: LB
Height: 6-1
Weight: 210
Class: First Year
Hometown: Hamilton, Ont.
High School: St Jean De Brebeuf Catholic SS  

- 2011 Vanier Cup defensive MVP; had 11.5 tackles and a forced fumble.
- Third on team in tackles in 2011 with 32.5; had a sack and 2 fumble recoveries.

#8 Mike Daly
Position: DB
Height: 6-1
Weight: 182
Class: Third Year
Hometown: Kitchener, Ont.
High School: Forest Heights C I 

- Led the OUA conference in interceptions in 2011 with 5 returning them for 65 yards.
- First-team OUA All-Star

#7 Nicholas Shortill
Position: LB
Height: 6-2
Weight: 210
Class: Second Year
Hometown: Nobleton, Ont.
High School: King City SS

- second on the team in tackles in 2011 with 34; also had 1 interception and 1 sack
- Played Vanier Cup game with the flu and still had a sack and 2 solo tackles.

#99 Tanvir Bhangoo
Position: DL
Height: 6-3
Weight: 280
Class: Third Year
Hometown: Brampton, Ont.
High School: Harold M Braithwaite SS 

- fifth year senior brings much needed experience to defensive line.

Defensive Secondary
(Joey Cupido / Allan Dicks / Steve Ventresca / Stephen Dennis)
- Combined for 15 interceptions during the 2011 regular season.
- Cupido had 5 interceptions in post season; 4  against Queen's in OUA quarter-final 
- Ventresca had key interception in overtime in Vanier Cup game. 

#52 Ben D'Aguilar
Position: DL
Height: 6-2
Weight: 240
Class: Fourth Year
Hometown: Hamilton, Ont.
High School: Barton SS

Key recruits or transfers:

#90 Zach Intzandt
Position: DL
Height: 6-4
Weight: 275
Class: First Year
Hometown: London, Ont.
High School: St Thomas Aquinas SS

Jake Heathcote
Position: LB
Height: 6-2
Weight: 220
Class: First Year
Hometown: Aldergrove, BC
High School: W J Mouat SS

#44 Kyle Fitzsimons
Position: LB
Height: 6-0
Weight: 203
Class: First Year
Hometown: Newmarket, Ont.
High School: Huron Heights SS

#24 Keldyn Ahlstedt
Position: DB
Height: 5-10
Weight: 185
Class: First Year
Hometown: Whitby, Ont.
High School: Donald A Wilson SS

Key losses:

LB Ryan Chmielewski 
- OUA stand defensive player of the year
- OUA first-team All-Star

DL Roberto Filice 
5th year senior

DL Scott Caterine
- Defensive captain
- OUA second-team All-Star

DL Mackenzie Dent
- 5th year senior

SPECIAL TEAMS

Key returning players:

#4 Tyler Crapigna
Position: K/P
Height: 5-7
Weight: 164
Class: Second Year
Hometown: Nepean, Ont.
High School: St Pauls Catholic H S

- 1st team All-Canadian in 2011
- OUA first-team All-Star
- Second-leading scorer in CIS
- Missed the entire 2011 post season, but returned for the Vanier Cup to kick four field goals including the game winner in double overtime.