Queen's Thaine Carter has won the Presidents' Trophy as the top defensive player in Canadian university football, which the papers should be able to put into greater perspective for tomorrow morning.
You don't what you've got till it's gone. When Carter went out in the early stages of that soul-crushing semi-final loss to Ottawa (wait to open an old wound), it was obvious how much he meant to Queen's. He was a sideline-to-sideline defender that kind of knit everything together for a unit that had only one bad game in the regular season before everything went wrong on that fateful first of November. The Gaels' nominees for the Hec Crighton and J.P. Metras trophies, Mike Giffin and Osie Ukwuoma, probably didn't present as good a case for those respective honours as the Laval duo of Benoit Groulx and Étienne Légaré (who's just a beast), who ultimately won. Carter made a strong case.
Those of you who believe the principle of something-for-everyone sways these selections will probably wonder what Carter means for Pat Sheahan's (calling the coach Patrick is tempting, but that is really Father de Souza's thing) chances of winning the Frank Tindall Trophy as coach of the year.
It probably will go to Simon Fraser's Dave Johnson, as his reward for turning around a program that had gone three seasons without a win (it's far-fetched to believe Johnson would get spited because his university wants to leave Canadian Interuniversity Sport).
As noted, Carter's selection gives the Gaels a full set. Larry Mohr -- who just helped coach the Ottawa Jr. Riders to the Quebec Junior Football League championship -- won the Hec Crighton in 1985 prior to Tom Denison's back-to-backs in 2002-03. Mike Schad won the Metras in '85 before going on to the Philadelphia Eagles. Gord Goodwin took the Peter Gorman Trophy as rookie of the year in 1977 and of course, there were Charlie Galunic (1986), Jock Climie ('89) and Curt McLellan ('03) each won the Russ Jackson Award.
The hardest-working man in the sports information game, Michael Grobe, has the details of Queen's six first-team selections and two second-team picks over at gogaelsgo.com. Congratulations are in order for Carter, Giffin, Ukwuoma, kick returner-defensive back Jim Allin, quarterback Dan Brannagan, guard Vince De Civita, defensive tackle Dee Sterling and wideout Scott Valberg for also being selected.
It is a bit jarring to see neither the Ottawa Gee-Gees or Concordia Stingers, who have had players and coaches winning national awards within the past half-decade, get shut out of the first and second-team selections. A tip of the cap also goes to Ottawa native Erik Galas from McGill, who was first-team all-Canadian at inside receiver.