Seven members of the Calgary Stampeders have been voted to the Canadian Football League’s 2017 West Division all-star team.
Hughes is a West all-star for the sixth time in his career, Paredes is selected for a fourth time, Johnson and Evans are second-time all-stars while Williams, Singleton and Finch are each honoured for the first time.
The division all-stars are determined by voting members of the Football Reporters of Canada (FRC) as well as one ballot from each team’s coaching staff.
Here is a closer look at the Stampeders’ division all-stars:
Ucambre Williams (centre): In his second season with Calgary, Williams started all 18 games at centre. He is an integral part of a Stamps unit that allowed the second-fewest fewest sacks in the CFL in 2017 and also helped tailback Jerome Messam break the 1,000-yard mark in rushing for a third consecutive year. Williams is the Stamps’ nominee for the Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman award.
Charleston Hughes (defensive end): The veteran led the CFL with 11 sacks as he picked up the third CFL sack title of his career. He increased his career sack total to 99, tying Will Johnson for the all-time Stampeders lead in that category. In 14 games this season, Hughes also had 40 tackles, two tackles for a loss, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. He also had 18 QB pressures. Hughes was named a CFL player of the week for Week 5 when he recorded three sacks against the Roughriders.
Micah Johnson (defensive tackle): Johnson earned his second consecutive West Division all-star nod after starting all 18 games and recording 34 tackles, a career-high nine quarterback sacks, two tackles for a loss, one knockdown and 17 QB pressures. Johnson’s nine sacks were tops among all CFL defensive tackles in 2017.
Alex Singleton (linebacker): Singleton established a CFL record for most tackles in a season by a Canadian and team marks for most defensive tackles and most total tackles in a season. He is the Stamps’ nominee for Most Outstanding Player, Most Outstanding Canadian and Most Outstanding Defensive Player. Singleton started all 18 games at middle linebacker and accumulated 123 tackles including four tackles for a loss, two special-teams tackles, four sacks, 12 quarterback pressures, one interception, one forced fumble and four knockdowns. He was named one of the CFL’s players of the week for Week 11 after a career-high 13-tackle performance against Edmonton in the Labour Day Classic and was honoured again in Week 13 after an 11-tackle, one-sack effort against BC. In Weeks 11-13, he became the first player in CFL history to record at least 10 tackles in three consecutive games. Singleton was voted the CFL’s top player of the month for September.
Ciante Evans (cornerback): Evans started 17 games at cornerback and led the Stampeders with five interceptions, tied for the third-best total in the league. He also notched 53 tackles, one forced fumble and six knockdowns. Evans was part of a Stamps secondary and defensive unit that allowed a league-low 254.6 passing yards per game this season.
Roy Finch (special teams): Finch tied a franchise single-season record with three punt-return touchdowns and beat his own mark for most punt-return yards in a season. He finished the season with 1,200 punt-return yards, the third-best total in league history. Also, Finch’s average of 16.4 yards on punt returns is the third-best figure all-time in the CFL and his 103-yard punt return against Toronto in Week 7 was the second-longest punt return in Stamps history. Despite missing a total of five games this season, Finch had 1,914 return yards, a figure which included 696 yards on kickoffs and 18 on missed field goals. In addition to his special-teams work, he contributed 114 rushing yards, 133 receiving yards and a two-point conversion catch.
Rene Paredes (kicker): Paredes was good on 53 of 58 field goals this season for a league-best 91.4-per cent success rate. His season included three games in which he went five-for-five on field goals and a streak of 18 consecutive successful attempts. He has only one miss on 26 field-goal attempts in eight games since the Labour Day Classic. Paredes also kicked 35 converts and finished the season with 199 points. He averaged 65.3 yards on 78 kickoffs including a 95-yarder that was tied for the longest kick in the CFL this season.