Calgary grabbed the most selections but the Toronto Argonauts’ Ricky Ray and Darian Durant of the Saskatchewan Roughriders were voted the top quarterbacks for the CFL East and West in 2013.
Calgary grabbed a league-leading 10 spots on the western squad as the division all-star teams were announced Wednesday.
Ray’s numbers were held back as he missed six games to injury and sat out the last game of the season.
But he still finished with 234 completed passes out of 303 tries for a career high 77.2 per cent, tops among CFL starting quarterbacks.
Durant finished the season with 4,154 passing yards and a league-leading 31 touchdown strikes.
Saskatchewan and Montreal were tied with nine selections each. Toronto was next at eight, with Hamilton and B.C. at six each, Winnipeg at four and Edmonton at two.
Representing the West at running back is Calgary’s Jon Cornish, the CFL rushing leader, and Saskatchewan’s Kory Sheets, the runner-up. Hamilton’s C.J. Gable and Winnipeg’s Will Ford share the honour in the East.
Sheets and Cornish were both unanimous selections.
Toronto’s Chad Owens was one of the four receivers named in the East and Edmonton’s Fred Stamps was a unanimous pick as one of the four in the West, after leading the league with 1,259 receiving yards.
The others were Toronto’s Andre Durie, Hamilton’s Bakari Grant, Montreal’s S.J. Green, Saskatchewan’s Weston Dressler and Chris Getzlaf and Calgary’s Marquay McDaniel.
The offensive lineman named for the East were Montreal’s Josh Bourke, Winnipeg’s Glenn January, Toronto’s Chris Van Zeyl and Jeff Keeping and Hamilton’s Greg Wojt.
For the West it was Calgary’s Brett Jones, Jon Gott and Stanley Bryant, B.C.’s Jovan Olafioye and Saskatchewan’s Brendon Labatte.
For January, a seven-year CFL veteran who has made the East all-star squad three times now, the honour was bittersweet after the Bombers finished last at 3-15, tied for their worst record ever in the 18-game CFL.
“It was an extremely difficult season for us and I think it’s been well documened that a lot of are frustrated that the season went the way it did,” he said.
“It’s nice to have individual acknowledgment but I sure wish I was playing this weekend.”
Defensive players include CFL tackle leader Chip Cox from Montreal and runner-up Henoc Muamba from Winnipeg in the East, and sack-leader Charleston Hughes from Calgary and Saskatchewan’s Alex Hall in the West.
Muamba said terrible season or not, the fact that four Bombers made the all-star list helps show that the team never gave up.
“It’s a testament to the fact that myself personally, I didn’t quit, and for the rest of the all-stars. It goes to prove that there were a lot of guys in that room that never quit, despite the things that were going on and the season that we had.”
He also sounded a little more positive at the prospect of returning to the Bombers, although he said his agent is still in negotiations with the team.
Six of Montreal’s all-star selections were on defence. Besides Cox, John Bowman, Geoff Tisdale, Jerald Brown, Billy Parker and Mike Edem were named.
Toronto’s Khalif Mitchell and Patrick Watkins, Winnipeg’s Bryant Turner and Hamilton’s Brandon Boudreaux complete the defence for the East.
In the West it was Saskatchewan’s Tearrius George, Dwight Anderson and Tyron Brackenridge; B.C.’s Adam Bighill, Solomon Elimimian, Cord Parks, Dante Marsh and Ryan Phillips; Calgary’s Juwan Simpson and Edmonton’s Almondo Sewell.
Calgary swept the special teams category in the West with league-leading kicker Rene Paredes, punter Rob Maver and the CFL’s leader in combined return yards, Larry Taylor.
Hamilton claimed two spots in the East for punter Josh Bartel and tackle-leader Marc Beswick, while Montreal’s Sean Whyte took kicker.
The lists are voted on by coaches and members of the Football Reporters of Canada. The CFL will announce its all-star team, featuring players from both divisions, in early December.