Get ready to roar!
The BC Lions kick off their season at home this Saturday against the Edmonton Eskimos.
After a few off years, the Lions rebounded last season to a 12-6 record and a second-place finish in the West. Look for them to take another step forward this season.
This will be the 63rd season for the Leos, and over the years there have been a number of players who have made names for themselves in this province.
Here, we take a look at five Lions you need to know for the upcoming season.
1. Jonathon Jennings
Likely the most important piece to the Lions puzzle, all eyes will be on 24-year-old Jonathon Jennings to see if he can build off last season’s success.
In 2016, his first season as a starting CFL quarterback, Jennings finished third in both total passing yards (5,226) and passing touchdowns (27). Jennings, along with Mike Reilly and Bo Levi Mitchell, represent the elite QBs in the CFL.
2. Emmanuel Arceneaux
The first of two receivers on this list, Emmanuel Arceneaux is already a household name for most Lions fans. The veteran of six CFL seasons had his best yet last year, posting career highs in pretty much every receiving statistic.
The most impressive? His CFL-best 13 receiving touchdowns in 18 games last year, three more than second place.
3. Solomon Elimimian
No CFL player had more defensive tackles than Solomon Elimimian last season (129). The 30-year-old also recorded a career high eight sacks.
With Adam Bighill now off to the NFL, there’s a lot of responsibility on Elimimian to lead the Lions defensive line this season. Count on another big year from BC’s top linebacker.
4. Bryan Burnham
The acrobatic Bryan Burnham made a name for himself last season, finishing second only to Arceneaux in total receiving yards (and fourth in the entire CFL).
The 27-year-old has a knack for making big yardage catches. He led the league in that regard last year, averaging 17.6 yards on his receptions.
5. Swayze Waters
It’s the first season with the Lions for kicker Swayze Waters, but the 30-year-old isn’t lacking in CFL experience.
Waters played four seasons with the Toronto Argonauts from 2012 to 2015. His best came in 2014, when he converted over 90% of his kicks. That season, he also kicked a career-best 53-yard field goal against the Lions.
It should be an exciting season for the Lions, and the man overseeing it all is the name you already know, coach and GM Wally Buono.
Already first all-time in wins, first-place finishes, and Grey Cup titles as a head coach, Buono will continue to extend his legacy.
Kickoff for the opener goes at 7 pm at BC Place. Tickets are available now, and this season, kids tickets are $5 for all summer home games.