Montréal – Fall is in the air and that means it’s time to kick off another exciting season of Quebec Student Sport Federation (QSSF) university football!
It is a historic season for the QSSF, as the conference will host the Vanier Cup for the first time on November 28, 2009 at Université Laval in Quebec City. 2009 will also feature a new official broadcaster for the association, as the French service of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (Société Radio-Canada) will air a ‘Game of the Week’ on its television network and website, giving fans coverage like they’ve never seen before.
Teams from the QSSF football league have captured three of the past five Vanier Cups and had seven players drafted in this year’s Canadian Football League (CFL) draft, including three in the first round, a testiment to the quality of players coming out of the conference.
This year, fans across Canada can follow the exploits of their favourite QSSF teams as the French service of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Radio-Canada, will broadcast eight (8) regular season games on television and internet including an interlock game between the Montreal Carabins and the Acadia Axemen. SRC Sports will also broadcast all Quebec conference playoff games beginning with the semi-final round on November 7, followed a week later by the Dunsmore Cup on November 14. Radio-Canada will also broadcast the Mitchell Bowl national semi-final game between the Ontario and Quebec champions on November 21 before wrapping up the season with the Vanier Cup on November 28.
Jean St-Onge will call the action, while former University of Montreal and current CEGEP du Vieux Montreal head coach Jacques Dussault will provide colour commentary during all SRC telecasts.
Quebec City will be the backdrop for the first broadcast by Radio-Canada on September 6 at 2 p.m. when the Rouge et Or host the Concordia Stingers in a rematch of the 2008 Dunsmore Cup. All other broadcasts on SRC will be played on Saturdays at 1 p.m.
Another first occurs at the end of November when the Vanier Cup will be played for the first time in La Belle Province. The five-time and defending Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) champion Rouge et Or will host the next two title matchs at PEPS Stadium.
With each passing season, more and more fans come through the turnstiles at Quebec University Football League (QUFL) games and this season should be especially exciting as all six teams have a legitimate shot at hoisting the Dunsmore Cup as QUFL champions come mid-November.
Rivalries such as Laval-Montreal, Sherbrooke-Bishop’s and Concordia-McGill will have fans sitting on the edge of their seats all season long. Fans of Bishop’s and Sherbrooke will kick the season off in style with the fourth annual Mayor’s Cup game in week 1. The Carabins and Rouge et Or will face each other twice in 2009, first on Saturday September 19 at PEPS Stadium with the rematch set for October 3 at CEPSUM.
Players to watch
Several career records could be shattered this season by Laval pivot Benoit Groulx (Montreal, Que.) and McGill receiver Charles-Antoine Sinotte (Trois-Rivieres, Que.).
Groulx, the 2008 Hec Creighton Award winner as the CIS most valuable player needs 16 touchdown passes to break McGill almnus Matt Connell’s record of 63. Groulx, in his final year of eligibility threw 12 touchdown passes a year ago.
For his part, Charles-Antoine Sinotte is 45 receptions shy of breaking former teammate Éric Galas’ record of 194 career catches. Sinotte hauled in 50 catches last season.
On the defensive side of the ball, Bishop’s Nick Poloniato (Hamilton, Ont.) is 8 picks from setting the new QUFL career interceptions standard. Anthony Lukca of the McGill Redmen needs 74 tackles to break the current career mark of 253.5 set by former Gaiter Francis Bellefroid. He made 73 tackles a year ago.
Regular season and broadcast schedule: