WINNIPEG — Manitoba Bisons’ linebacker DJ Lalama has been selected as the 2016 Presidents’ Trophy award winner for the Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year in U Sports.
The fourth-year student-athlete is only the second Manitoba player to claim the Presidents’ Trophy, after linebacker Joey Mikawoz in 2000.
“DJ had a record-breaking season in 2016. His hard work, personal growth and perseverance through his time at Manitoba have culminated in this prestigious recognition,” said head coach Brian Dobie. “Our Bison coaching staff and his teammates are extremely proud of him.”
Lalama, 23, was also named 2016 U Sports First Team Football All-Canadian at the linebacker position while four-year offensive lineman Geoff Gary, 22, is a 2016 U Sports First Team Football All-Canadian at the guard position.
Bisons’ defensive back Cam Teschuk earned the Russ Jackson Award recognizing excellence in football, academics and citizenship in U Sports.
Teschuk, 23, is only the second Manitoba player to merit the prestigious Russ Jackson Award. Linebacker Michael Hall was a back-to-back recipient in 2009 and 2010.
The Bisons completed their 2016 season with a 3-5 conference regular season record and did not qualify for the playoffs for the first time in five seasons, but the team was recognized with four Bisons named to the conference All-Star team with three major conference award winners and now has two players earning a 2016 U Sports major national football award plus two players selected as a 2016 U Sports Football All-Canadians.