British Columbia, Canada, May 05, 2007 --(PR.com
)-- The Sportexe CFL Coach of the Year Wally Buono, head coach and general manager of the British Columbia Lions wasted little time bolstering the reigning Grey Cup champs’ depth chart at the CFL Draft on Wednesday as he selected the top talent available from the 2007 class, including University of Ottawa wide receiver Adam Nicolson.
Nicolson, a conference all-star during the past two seasons, was the 2006 player of the year for the Gee-Gees after gaining 727 yards off 45 receptions with three touchdowns. The 6-foot-4, 219-pound biology major, coached by Sportexe CIS Coach of the Year Denis Piché, played a large role in Ottawa’s successful run in 2006 which included its best regular season record in the OUA (7-1) and the Yates Cup championship.
Nicolson was also Ottawa’s leading receiver in the playoffs averaging 69 yards per game and recorded a six-catch, 109 yard performance versus Saskatchewan in the 2006 Mitchell Bowl.
“I am very pleased for Adam that he was selected in the first round of the draft,” said Gee-Gees head coach Denis Piché. “We projected him as a potential first rounder because of his skill and dedication to continually improve himself. This is the culmination of a lot of hard word by a solid young man.”
Ottawa teammate Kyle Kirkwood joins Nicolson as the Lions fifth round selection. Kirkwood, a noted student of the game, started in each of his four years at Ottawa playing both right and left tackle positions on a dominant OUA offence.
The Lions chose linebacker Josh Bean from Boise State with their second-round pick (16th overall).
Bean was a backup linebacker and special teams standout for the Broncos and finished the 2006 season with 18 tackles and one fumble recovery. Bean is a graduate of Bishop Carroll High School in Calgary (2001) where he earned All-Prairie Football Conference honours as well as an All-Province selection. Bean has one year of eligibility remaining at Boise State.
B.C. had two selections in the third round including the first pick (17th overall) which they used to pick up safety Tad Crawford from Columbia University. With their fourth selection (3rd round, 24th overall) the Lions selected running back Andre Sadeghian from McMaster University.
The Lions’ final three picks including another McMaster product in defensive lineman Andrew Jones (4th round, 32nd overall) as well as Kirkwood (5th round, 40th overall). The Lions closed the 2007 Canadian Draft with Nic Edgson from Idaho State (6th round, 48th overall).
“Overall I am pleased with the selections we were able to make,” said Buono, who also collected the league’s official Scotiabank CFL Coach of the Year award in 2006. “A big part of our success today is due in large part to the work of coach Mike Benevides (director of Canadian scouting and special teams coach) and assistant director of player personnel Neil McEvoy.”
“The Lions did very well this year and got some good Canadian depth,” said Canadian Press football writer Dan Ralph. “B.C. is the defending champs and don’t really need a lot of tinkering. The receiver taken in the first round was a very good choice and the Lions addressed their other needs in the later rounds. Wally does a good job collecting talent and molding them into productive, long-term starters.”
Other 2006 Sportexe Coach of the Year alumni include: Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints (NFL); Art Briles, Houston (NCAA Division I-A); David Bennett, Coastal Carolina (NCAA Division I-AA); Bill O’Boyle, Chadron State (NCAA Division II); Frank Miriello, Washington & Lee (NCAA Division III); Dino Kaklis, Bethel College (NAIA); Brad Franchione, Blinn College (Junior College); Bill Redell, Westlake Village-Oaks Christian (High School); Todd Bernett, Vancouver College (Canadian High School).
Sportexe, which also announces winners of its Arena Football League and NFL Europa awards later this year, is the official coach of the year award for arenafootball2 to be presented during ArenaCup8 to be held in Bossier City, La., on Aug. 25.
“Sportexe is excited to see our Canadian coach of the year winners play such an active role in the success of this year’s CFL Draft,” said football insider and Sportexe spokesperson Aaron S. Lee. “The Lions have only tightened its grip on the Grey Cup with its stellar 2007 draft class and it will be extremely difficult for any team to pry it away.”
Sportexe can be found underfoot of many of the nation’s elite athletes from the NFL, NCAA and CIS, and is the exclusive turf provider for the Arena Football League, arenafootball2, Major Indoor Soccer League and the National Lacrosse League. Sportexe clients also include numerous high school and recreational fields across North America.
• Sportexe •
With offices in Ontario, Texas, and Georgia, Sportexe is dedicated to delivering top notch synthetic turf solutions to each and every client. As an acknowledged leader in the industry, the U.S Company prides itself on delivering products that feature the latest in innovation and superior engineering with an emphasis on research and development. Currently Sportexe is the exclusive or official turf system supplier for The Arena Football League, (AFL/AF2), National Lacrosse League (NLL), Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL), U.S. Indoor Soccer Association, and the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA). Additionally, Sportexe partners with the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA). Sportexe has also made tremendous progress in the international scene by securing relationships with both the International Hockey Fédération (FIH), and the Federation International de Football Association (FIFA).
For additional information and an inside look at their cutting-edge products, please visit www.sportexe.com