Blue Bomber Report Record: 7–11–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Muamba makes the grade

Linebacker lone Blue Bomber voted to CFL all-star squad

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The Winnipeg Blue Bombers didn't just get a new coach on Wednesday, but a new all-star too, as linebacker Henoc Muamba was named to the 2013 CFL all-star team.

Muamba, who is entering free agency, was the lone Bomber picked for this year's team, which was selected by 50 voters from the Football Reporters of Canada and head coaches of the CFL.

One former Bomber, defensive end Alex Hall, was also named to the all-star team. Hall was traded to the Saskatchewan Roughriders late in the season for their Grey Cup push.

Grey Cup MVP Kory Sheets is one of five Saskatchewan Roughriders named to the team.

But the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, runners-up in last month's CFL championship game, failed to place a single player on the team voted on by the Football Reporters of Canada and the league's head coaches.

The 10-8 Ticats had earlier placed seven players on the East Division all-star team.


The Ticats tweeted they are the first team in league history to earn a spot in the Grey Cup without a single CFL all-star.

That drew a "LOL" retweet from the Argonauts. The Ticats responded with a "... and we still ended your season. LOL!"

That prompted a "and then what happened?" tweet from the Argos, complete with a photo of Saskatchewan quarterback Darian Durant kissing the Grey Cup.

Calgary led all clubs with seven CFL all-stars, with running back Jon Cornish adding to a memorable season that has already netted him the league's Most Outstanding Player and Outstanding Canadian awards.

Toronto had five all-stars while Montreal had four, B.C. three, Edmonton two and Winnipeg one.

In 2013, Cornish won his second straight rushing title by gaining 1,813 yards, fourth-highest in league history. He also led the league and set a Calgary franchise record with 2,157 yards from scrimmage.

His season was marked by nine 100-yard games -- including a Stamps-record five straight -- and a career-best 208-yard outing Oct. 5 against Winnipeg.

Sheets ran for more than 100 yards in the first six games of the season and finished tied with a franchise-best nine. In 15 games, he ran 287 times for 1,598 yards and caught 37 balls for 264 yards.

The second-year Rider also ran for a Grey Cup-record 197 yards and two touchdowns to help the Roughriders thump the Ticats 45-23.

Cornish was one of three unanimous all-star selections. The others were Calgary defensive end Charleston Hughes and Montreal receiver S.J. Green.

The other Stampeder all-stars were receiver Marquay McDaniel, offensive tackle Stanley Bryant, kicker Rene Paredes, punter Rob Maver and special-teams player Larry Taylor.

Ricky Ray of the Argos got the nod at quarterback, with an all-star backfield of Cornish and Sheets. The receivers were Green, McDaniel, Edmonton's Fred Stamps, and Saskatchewan's Weston Dressler.

Ray, runner-up to Cornish for Most Outstanding Player, had a record-breaking year marred only by injury and the loss to Hamilton in the Eastern final.

In 10 games, Ray completed 77.2 per cent of his passes (234 of 303) to erase Dave Dickenson's league record of 74 per cent.

For Montreal linebacker Chip Cox and Stamps, it was a fourth all-star honours.

B.C. defensive tackle Jovan Olafioye and defensive back Ryan Phillips were named all-stars for the third time.

Eleven others, including Cornish and Ray, were honoured for a second time.


-- staff-CP

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 5, 2013 D10

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