Olivier Roy wins RSEQ player of the year award

Stingers were well-represented at this year’s football banquet

Olivier Roy (left) with RSEQ president Gustave Roel (right) holding the MVP trophy. Photo Credit: Andrew Maggio Concordia Stingers

In what came as no surprise to anyone who followed the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec football season in 2021, Olivier Roy took home the player of the year honours. His teammates Jaylan Greaves and Malick Sylvain also won awards of their own. Greaves received RSEQ rookie of the year honours, while Sylvain took the RSEQ leadership award.

Roy was spectacular all season long for a Concordia Stingers football team \ coming off of a disappointing 2-6 record in the 2019 season with MVP quarterback Adam Vance and Roy who served as his backup. Concordia overachieved and that can be largely attributed to their star quarterback who passed for 2,470 yards, and 18 touchdowns in the regular season. The next closest quarterback in regards to passing yards was McGill’s Dimitrios Sinodinos, with 1,542. 

Roy’s season included a record-setting performance against the Sherbrooke Vert et Or on Sept. 25 when he threw for 580 yards in a single game; an RSEQ record. Roy’s mark also placed him second in U Sports history for passing yards in a single game, and trails only Greg Vavra of Calgary, who threw for 627 yards in 1983.

“It feels great, but it’s an honour when you look at all the players that have won the award before me, and all the players in the league right now,” said Roy. “I’m just glad that all my efforts are recognized here today.”

The Donnacona, Quebec native stayed in Montreal throughout 2020 to train with his teammates despite the pandemic. “It’s a pleasure to coach him, he keeps his head down, works hard and loves the game of football,” said Stingers head coach Brad Collinson.

Roy is the third Concordian quarterback to win the award in the last six seasons, and he will be in the running for the Hec Crighton trophy given to the best player in U Sports. Adam Vance in 2019, and Trenton Miller in 2015 were the other Stinger recipients.

Malick Sylvain (left), Roy (middle), and Jaylan Greaves (right) posing with their awards. Photo Credit: Andrew Maggio Concordia Stingers

Star wide receiver Greaves was the recipient of the RSEQ rookie of the year award after leading the league in yards per catch at 22.4, placing him at second place in all of U Sports. He was third in the RSEQ in receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns with 605 yards, as well as five touchdowns.

“The goal is to play for the Dunsmore Cup,” said Greaves. “Hopefully next year, we can keep the accolades, but we can be playing in the big game as well.”

Greaves had a knack for the big play all season long, and his energy was infectious to the Stingers, who had struggled with chemistry in years past.

“Jaylan’s the energizer bunny. When we needed a play, he made a play,” said Collinson. “He’s built for that, he wants that pressure.”

There are still years ahead for this electrifying receiver in the Stingers’ maroon and gold.

Sylvain, a leader on and off the field, took home the RSEQ leadership award for his exemplary work in the community. As a religions and cultures major, he maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.4 in the previous school year. 

Sylvain volunteers for the Jamaica Association of Montreal, where he and his teammates help the food bank unload trucks and stock shelves. He also supports the Shoebox Project for Women, an organization that collects and distributes gift-filled shoe boxes to local women impacted by homelessness. Inspired to do even more, Sylvain works with a friend to design and sell t-shirts to support the Black Lives Matter movement.

“Getting involved off the field is probably one of the most important things,” said Sylvain. “What happens off the field [translates] to the field. I need to give back to my community because that is the reason why I’m here today.”

“This is exactly what you want to promote in university sports. You want to see your athletes give back to the community” said Collinson. “It’s something that we preach and instill in our culture here at Concordia.”

Although the ultimate goal is to compete for a championship, the recognition that the Stingers received at this year’s banquet bodes well for future recruiting and the program overall.