The 2022 season is one of several premieres by Alexandre Masri-Fliss.
The sophomore guard donned the uniform for the first time in the opening game against Sherbrooke University Vert & Or and debuted as a starter last Sunday against the Concordia Stingers.
He will be back in the starting lineup on Sunday against the McGill Redbirds.
“I had my baptism and it was a really great experience,” he said. It happens once in a lifetime and I enjoyed it. It went well, although there is still a lot of work to do, and the team performed well. It was a good way to start. »
In the crosshairs of several college teams after a successful college career, Masri-Fliss has had to patiently face her problems for the past year.
“Everyone intends to contribute to the success of the team and I was looking forward to playing, but it was a necessary passage in my career, summarized the CNDF product. I needed a season of learning and that was part of my progression. »
“You want to play as quickly as possible, to continue the student in occupational therapy, but I realize in hindsight that I wasn’t one of the best elements of the offensive line last year. Laval is a great program and you have to understand that the team’s success comes first. I trusted the coaches because they knew what they were doing. »
Two aspects improved
Masri-Fliss identifies two aspects that he has improved and that now allow him to evolve as a starter.
“My understanding of the system is much better and allows me to focus on football rather than on what I have to do,” he explained. That makes a big difference. Last year my head was spinning and I was thinking a lot.
“I’m also in much better physical shape, add the 6’3” 308-pound guy. I lost 20 pounds. I’m lighter and in shape. I am more active and I eat better. The COVID-19 year has been a tough one for the attacking striker’s fitness. I realize now that you need to be in shape to play on the offensive line and not just big. I’m still not where I want to be, but I’m heading in the right direction. »
If he found this first campaign difficult, Masri-Fliss spoke to some elders who helped him to better accept his situation.
“Cyrille Hogan-Saindon and Louis-Gabriel Beaudet were dominant players at the college level and were not dressed in their early seasons, he stressed. I realized it was a normal pass. I had no complaints after just one season. They told me not to feel sorry for myself, to work on my technique and my understanding of the game system. They were right. »
Justin Éthier appreciated Masri-Fliss’ performance in his first match.
“Considering where he was in 2021 when he wasn’t ready, he did very well against Concordia, said Laval’s offensive coordinator. It was so difficult and now he is showing great aggression. He moves well too. »
Éthier draws a parallel between Masri-Fliss and Samuel Quevillon.
“Both were highly sought after players and have a similar profile,” he said. Last year, Samuel was more prepared at the end of the season than Alexandre, but both suffered from the pandemic. »
Masri-Fliss intends to continue exhibiting aggression.
“It’s been part of my game since I started playing football at school. It’s a quality I try to show in every training session and every game. »
Nicolas Guay back in his flip flops
Nicolas Guay found his good old flip-flops from his high school and college football years.
Used as a point guard for the past four seasons at Laval, Guay will return to the central position to replace Nicolas Thibodeau, who injured his ankle in the last game against Concordia Stingers.
Guay was called up at center but played just one game in his rookie season in 2017 due to an injury to Louis-Gabriel.
Beaudet, before being transferred to the guard position in 2018.
“I wasn’t rusty when I took Nicolas’ place during the game against Concordia,” he said. I was well prepared. I did several rehearsals as a center at the camp in Hamilton. Because I played downtown all my high school and college years, I wasn’t out of place. »
Guay assures that he has no preference.
“I like both positions and feel comfortable in both positions,” said product CNDF. This will be my second game as a center with Rouge et Or. Before each game, I do rehearsals with Nicolas and Étienne [Cloutier]. »
center in Hamilton
A seventh-round pick (64th overall) in the last draft, Guay already knows the Tiger-Cats’ plans for him.
“At the next level, Hamilton sees me as a pivot,” said the 1.80m and 130kg player. During the camp, I started as a guard and they transferred me to the center when they thought I was more comfortable. In both preseason games, I played a game’s worth. A quarter against Montreal and three quarters against Toronto. »
Whether he plays point guard or center, Guay and his teammates will have to face two good tacklers on Sunday against the Redbirds. Nicholas De Francisco-Paul and -Jonathan Wilding represent two of the key elements of McGill’s defense. Former Spartans of Old Montreal, Wilding will regularly meet with his former teammate Samuel Quevillon.
“They’re both excellent tacklers and it’s going to be a good challenge,” Guay said. Of course, we’d like to run and continue our pace, but McGill’s two tackles are solid. »
Guay isn’t worried about being surrounded by two guards with little starting experience. “Samuel and Alexander [Masri-Fliss] they are two young guards, but they were in high demand as they came out of the college ranks and they are talented, said the engineering bachelor. No problem. »
Éloa Latendresse-Regimbald during her apprenticeship
Center McGill has his ups and downs after an exceptional first game
Photo courtesy of McGill Athletics
Redbirds first-year quarterback Éloa Latendresse-Regimbald in a game against Rouge et Or on September 3.
Despite a good start in her first career game, Éloa Latendresse-Regimbald believes her work is just beginning.
“Honestly, it’s a tough first season,” admitted center McGill Redbirds. It is a time of learning in many ways. There is a big gap between the university and university levels. »
Last year’s college network MVP wished he’d had a better start.
“I’m not disappointed with my start to the season, but I’m not proud,” summarized Latendresse-Regimbald. It’s the same assessment for the team, but we’re making progress. »
“We have a rebuild team and we have to create a new culture, to pursue the product of Vanier Cheetahs. I was one hundred percent aware of the situation when I joined McGill and I am very happy with what I got myself into. »
Some aspects are very different from what he had known in collegiate.
“The size of the guys and the speed of the game are very different,” he said. The defensive fronts are more diversified in relation to the collegiate. In three-attempt football, you have no room for error, otherwise you will pay dearly. »
learn in defeat
The last game loss to the University of Montreal Carabins was a learning curve for the 1.80m and 76.7kg center, who suffered nine sacks.
“The Carabins knew they were up against a rookie quarterback and really put a lot of pressure on a seven-man front,” he explained. By my second reading, they were already in the backfield. Their linebackers were very aggressive. You improve by competing against the best. »
Ronald Hilaire agrees.
“Éloa will grow with this game,” said the Redbirds pilot. We are very happy with its first season. Because he is so talented, sometimes we tend to forget that this is his first season. Despite the 0-4 record, he continues to smile and is always ready to work. »
If he cut through the Rouge et Or defense with both arms and legs during the first duel between the two formations, Latendresse-Regimbald expects a different confrontation for the second leg.
“Laval’s defense was not ready for us and we took them by surprise,” he said. I can’t wait to play my first game on PEPS in an amazing stadium. The fans will try to get into my head, but there are only 24 players on the field, regardless of the number of fans, and I will be able to stick with my game.
“The guys always have great stories to tell about the games at Laval and I’m excited to try it out for the first time,” added the author of a 391-yard, 132-car performance against Rouge et Or when he first entered the ranks of university. . I was considering the US option and Laval is closest to the NCAA. My dream will come true somehow. »