On the 13th of December, 2022, the Atlantic Football League announced its major awards and all-star nominations for the 2022 season. The Dalhousie Tigers, fresh off their fourth AFL Championship with a 7-1 season record, were bound to bring home some hardware. In total, the Tigers seized 4 major awards and had 11 players nominated for the Atlantic Football League All-Star team.
Our first award belongs to Head Coach Dave Kelly, who took home the AFL’s Coach of the Year Award. In his first year as Head Coach of the Tigers, Coach Kelly led a team that amassed 201 points for the season, and only 106 points against, a league-best. The Tigers also boasted the second-best regular season record in the league and, a 7-1 overall record. Not to mention, Coach Kelly led the Tigers to a fourth AFL title and inspired a 19-point comeback in the fourth quarter of the Championship game. Congratulations, Coach Kelly!
The next award belongs to Mike Mackenzie, a first-year Defensive Lineman who was awarded the Atlantic Football League’s Rookie of the Year Award. Mike had an outstanding Rookie season for the Tigers, and was an unstoppable force that contributed to the greatness of the 2022 Tigers’ Defence. On the season, Mike had 30 total tackles, with 18 of them being for a loss of yards. He also had 8 sacks, terrorizing opposing quarterbacks all season long. Mike also started every single game in the season as a rookie, an accomplishment in itself. Mike’s season highlight came in our regular season matchup against the Holland College Hurricanes, a game that was worth double points. At a crucial moment of the game, Mike deflected and intercepted a ball, which he then returned for a touchdown, which carried the Tigers to a victory.
Linebacker Liam Chisari is the recipient of the AFL’s next award, Defensive Player of the year. Along with being one of our Defensive Captains, Liam was the anchor of one of the best defenses the AFL has ever seen. Liam left his mark in every single one of the games he played this year, and was a dominant force in the run-stop which prevented major plays from some of the AFL’s best running backs. Despite a shoulder dislocation forcing him out of games late in the season, he played through the majority of them and maintained his status as the league’s best defensive player.
Our final major award belongs to Wide Receiver Aidan Keefe, who took home Offensive Player of the Year. Despite missing three games due to concussion, Aidan was still able to be a cornerpiece to the Tigers’ offense and was relied upon a ton for crucial catches. In addition to being the most reliable receiver in the league, Aidan also doubled as a kick and punt returner for the Tigers, racking up tons of all-purpose yards on the season. Aidan had an outstanding 10.4 yards per catch, showing his ability to break loose after the catch and gain pivotal yards that helped propel the Tigers to the 2022 Championship.
The following are our 2022 AFL All-Star Nominations:
- OL Louis Fiset #65
- OL Ryan Gerrard #62
- RB Javier Reyes-Landry #21
- REC Aidan Keefe #6
- REC Colton Allen #4
- LB Liam Chisari #5
- LB Max Parker #15
- DB Connor McCormick #23
- DB Jeremy Miller #32
- DL Mike Mackenzie #57
- DL Christian Riley #59
Congratulations to all of our award recipients, and we look forward to even more of them in 2023!