The Manitoba Bisons football team completed their 2016 season with a 3-5 conference regular season record and did not qualify for the playoffs for the first time in five seasons, but the team was recognized with four Bisons named to the conference All-Star team with three major conference award winners and now has two players earning a 2016 U Sports major national football award plus two players selected as a 2016 U Sports Football All-Canadians.
Bison fourth year linebacker DJ Lalama has been selected as 2016 Presidents’ Trophy award, while Bison fifth year defensive back Cam Teschuk earns Russ Jackson Award.
The Presidents’ Trophy Award is given to the Oustanding Defensive Player of the Year in U Sports, while the Russ Jackson Award is given to a player who exemplifies the attributes of football skill, academic achievement and citizenship in the U Sports.
In addition, Lalama was named 2016 U Sports First Team Football All-Canadian at the linebacker position while four year offensive lineman Geoff Gary is a 2016 U Sports First Team Football All-Canadian at the guard position.
Lalama is only the second Manitoba player to claim the Presidents’ Trophy, after linebacker Joey Mikawoz in 2000.
In his fourth season with the Bisons, the 6-foot, 225-pound graduate studies student led U Sports in total tackles (72.5) and solo tackles (54), finishing the eight-game regular schedule with 16 more total tackles than any other player in Canada West.
Teschuk is only the second Manitoba player to merit the prestigious Russ Jackson Award. Linebacker Michael Hall was a back-to-back recipient in 2009 and 2010.
In his fifth and final season with the Bisons, the 5-foot-8, 180-pound defensive back produced another strong campaign with 23 tackles, three pass breakups and one fumble recovery in eight league contests.