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NEWS: OUA All-Stars announced, 7 Gee-Gees selected

Cody Cranston and Rashad Spooner.
Photo: Greg Mason

Ontario University Athletics has released its 2019 All-Star selections this week, and this year seven Gee-Gees were selected for the conference All-Star teams. The selections highlight the outstanding defensive season by the Garnet and Grey, as well as a returner who made his mark on the program record books.

On the First Team of All-Stars are Cody Cranston, Réshaan Davis, and Rashad Spooner; all three are first time conference All-Stars although Cranston was named to the All-Rookie team in 2014. The fifth-year defensive back from Winnipeg made Gee-Gees history by starting in every game of his five-year career. He had a banner senior year after being selected by Montreal in the 2019 CFL Draft, posting three interceptions in the regular season. He scored two touchdowns: one on a pick-six and one on a fumble recovery. Cranston finishes his career with 10 career interceptions, one of nine Gee-Gees in program history to reach that mark. Cranston moved from corner this season to make way for rookie sensations Kevin Victome and Christopher Cyril, and the Management student was a team captain.

Réshaan Davis built on his solid 2018 season and was an OUA statistical leader and big-time playmaker this season. His 11.5 tackles for loss ranked second in the conference, while his seven sacks ranked fourth. The six-foot-four defensive end from Oshawa, Ont. averaged 4.1 tackles per game. Davis is a fourth-year Chemistry student.

Rashad Spooner was recognized for his work on special teams, taking First Team honours for rush cover. A versatile player who started at boundary half for the Gee-Gees this season after transitioning from his starting spot at dime linebacker in 2017, Spooner was the primary long-snapper for the Garnet and Grey. His tenacity and strength make him an excellent rush cover player, and he totaled a career-high 2.9 tackles per game this season. Spooner, from Brossard, Que., is a fourth-year Criminology student.

On the Second Team of All-Stars are linebacker Kyle Rodger, safety Luke Griese, and punt returner Kalem Beaver. Rodger, from Gatineau, Que., tied for the Gee-Gees team lead with 5.3 tackles per game. Rodger also stuffed the defensive stats sheet with one sack, 4.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, three pass breakups, and one interception. This is the first OUA award for Rodger. 

Luke Griese was named to the All-Star team for the second straight season. Starting all eight games at safety again this season, Griese helped the Gee-Gees limit opponents to 24.6 points per game, good for fourth in OUA as a team. Personally, he accounted for 2.7 tackles per game, one forced fumble, and one interception this season. Griese is a third-year Human Kinetics student from Newmarket, Ont.

Kalem Beaver led the OUA in punt return yards with 455 this season, which helped move him into second in the Gee-Gees team record book with a career total of 1436. He scored his second career punt return touchdown this season, and averaged a career-best 11.1 yards per punt return. On kickoff return, the fifth-year Gee-Gee was such a threat that opposing teams only kicked to him nine times; his average of 27.7 yards per kickoff return ranked second in the conference. The Social Sciences student from Dartmouth, N.S. ranked sixth in OUA with 127.6 all-purpose yards per game (28 yards rushing, 289 receiving, 455 punt returns, 249 kickoff returns), finishing with over 1000 all-purpose yards for the second straight season.

Kevin Victome was named to the OUA All-Rookie team. The six-foot cornerback from Ottawa by way of Football North Clarkson had a stellar debut season, earning a starting spot with his strong play. Victome earned the OUA special teams player of the week nod with a pair of game-changing plays. The first saw the cornerback fly off the edge to block a go-ahead field goal attempt, while the encore saw him race down the field to not only take down the Windsor returner, but force a fumble that led to a major for his squad. When the dust settled on his first season in Garnet and Grey, Victome had rattled off another forced fumble, to go along with four pass breakups and 20 tackles.