Stingers football members receive RSEQ All-Star status
Five players and one coach get recognition within the RSEQ football league
Despite the Stingers football season getting cut short in the Réseau des Sports Étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) semi-finals, a silver lining for the team can be found in the nomination of five of its players and one of its coaches to the RSEQ 2023-24 all-star football team.
Offensive lineman Karim Brissault, defensive lineman Nicholas Roy, running back Franck Tchembe, linebacker Loïk Gagné, and punter Eric Maximuik all received honours for their contribution to the team’s success this year.
This season, the Stingers led the division in rushing offence and Tchembe was the RSEQ leader in rushing, with 529 yards. He also tallied three touchdowns in eight games as a third-year veteran.
“I'm really happy with my progression, but I think I haven't reached my full potential yet,” said Tchembe, who aspires to play professionally. “I'm going to work on my physique to gain more speed and improve my knowledge of the game.”
Head coach Brad Collinson agreed that Tchembe’s growth was felt this season on the field. “He took the step this year in the running back position, whereas previous years he was more of a special teams guy. We're very proud of the success he had this year, the future's bright for him,” he said.
Collinson praised both Tchembe and Brissault for their physicality on the field. Brissault, a fellow third-year player, contributed heavily to the Stingers offence this season, where the unit averaged 6.4 yards per carry, for a total of 1207 yards and ten rushing touchdowns.
The Stingers’ defensive line also received recognition within the All-Star team. Gagné leads the team in tackles with 31 solos and 11 assists. The second-year linebacker also recorded two sacks and one forced fumble. His efforts garnered him two wins as a defensive player of the week in the RSEQ. Roy, who is also in his second year, topped the Stingers with 2.5 sacks and recorded nine solo tackles and five assists for a total of 11.5 in seven games.
The Stingers’ newly-acquired punter from Regina, Sask., Maximuik, earned the honours by leading the conference with 2084 yards on 47 punts, for a league best average of 44.3 yards per attempt. Maximuik is also ranked third in scoring in the RSEQ, with eight points per game.
“I’m definitely honoured,” said Maximuik.“Coming from a completely different part of Canada and [it being] my first time on the team, it's definitely a pretty cool experience and feeling.”
Maximuik performed in a position the Stingers needed to fill before the season, according to Collinson. “He delivered on all fronts,” the head coach said. “He definitely helped us serve the year with his punting and kicking and he's definitely somebody that we're very proud of.”
Adding to the five players, special teams assistant coach Émilie Pfeiffer Badoux was additionally named volunteer assistant coach of the year. She joined the team last year.
“She’s a police officer on the day-to-day, but she puts in a lot of time, just as much as a full-time coach does,” said Collinson. “She brings attention to detail to us and players really respect her for what she does.”
On Nov. 10, Pfeiffer Badoux was named most outstanding assistant coach in the RSEQ for her dedication to the team and her knowledge of the game.
The Stingers’ football team undeniably finished their season in style, showing up the two best teams in the Quebec division. In their last regular season game, the Stingers beat the Carabins—the newly crowned champions of the RSEQ—16-14. The team went on to lose a tight playoff game in overtime 34-27 to the Laval Rouge et Or, who finished the season ranked fourth in U Sports.
“We're not surprised with our success against those two teams. Obviously, it's disappointing the way we finished the game, we wanted to have a better result,” said Collinson. “At the end of the day, we put U Sports on notice that we're for real. It's only up from now.”
Collinson also called out to Concordia students to attend home games during the 2024-25 season and watch them build on their momentum.
“Hopefully the school notices what we’re doing here and we can get more support from the student body next year,” he said. “It’s a fun time whenever you come to a home game and something we’re really trying to build is that connection with the student body.”