“Christie and I are very pleased to name Jordan as the 2012 recipient of the WBA. He's a good young Quarterback who works extremely hard to improve his skills. Jordan is a fine young man whom we expect big things out of as he moves to the next phase of his football journey. “
Christina Saint Marche added; “I have watched Jordan for several years and he reminds me of Matt Dunigan, when he played for Louisiana Tech. A pivot who plays the game like a linebacker. That was always the way Matt played the game and that is the way Jordan is playing the game. We expect great things from him in the future.”
Vancouver Island Raider President Hadi Abassi, who has had three Wally Buono Award winners emerge from his team, said the following:
“It has been a pleasure to watch Jordan develop from a great talented young kid to an amazing man with huge football intelligence and amazing leadership skills. He is destined for greater accomplishment in life and the sport of football. I cannot wait to see him break all the records in the next level! He will always have a place in my heart and many of his fans and team mates in Nanaimo.”
Yantz is following the footsteps of 2006 Wally Buono Award winner, Quarterback Nate Friesen, as he has signed a Letter of Intent to play football at Manitoba for the Bisons. “In signing Jordan Yantz, we believe we have absolutely secured the single best quarterback available in this nation,” Bisons head coach Brian Dobie said. “Jordan is a proven winner, tremendous competitor, national champion and CJFL record setter.”
In response to his selection, Jordan Yantz had the following to add:
“I am absolutely honoured to be awarded the top junior player in Canada. The BCFC, CJFL, and the V.I. Raiders have put me in the best position to succeed in my 5 years playing. There are a ton of other great junior football players around Canada, and I cannot thank the V.I Raider organization enough for I believe making me the football player I am today. Moving out to Vancouver Island as an 18 year old kid was a really big culture shock for me. I have not only grown as a football player, but also as an individual in the respect of morals and values that have been strongly brought out in me. Coach Matthew Blokker has been a huge part of my life as a Raider. He brought me in and moved me into his basement suite for my first 2 years. We have created a relationship on a best friends basis. He is an inspiration to me, and a mentor. As soon as the whistle blows, he’s a head coach! I am very thankful to be given this once in a lifetime opportunity. The CIS level is the next chapter for me, and I will let my play answer all the questions and guide me in the right direction as far as football goes.
Thank you to Christina Saint Marche and the Saint Bernard Pass Charitable Foundation for underwriting this award and being involved in voting for me. Thank you to the Buono Family, most of all, for awarding me this award! I want to close by thanking Wally Buono for placing his name on this award for all of junior football.”
The Wally Buono Award Exhibit is permanently housed at the Nanaimo Museum & Sports Hall of Fame. Museum General Manager Debbie Trueman added that; “The museum is so pleased to have Wally Buono here to present this years’ award to our local star Jordan Yantz. We are thrilled to be part of this event and the home of the Wally Buono Award. Thanks to the Saint Bernard Pass Foundation, Chance Saint Marche and Christie Buono.
About the Wally Buono Award:
The Wally Buono Award was established in 2003 and is funded annually by Christina Saint Marche, through The Saint Bernard Pass Charitable Foundation, for the purpose of recognizing Canada's top junior football player. The award is a national award, as it is the only award that recognizes all junior football players throughout Canada. Recipients must prove their athletic and leadership ability on the field as well as a high level of leadership within their community. Previous recipients have included 2003 winner Al Giacalone, who is a former running back for Canada's St. Mary's University and a former Calgary Colt. In 2004, Chris Ciezki, running back for the University of British Columbia and the Edmonton Huskies, was awarded the Wally Buono Award. Chris is a former member of the Edmonton Eskimos. Jeff Halvorson, of the Okanagan Sun Junior Football Club was the third winner of the Wally Buono Award in 2005. Known as the fastest man in junior football, Jeff passed suddenly on the practice field on the first of September 2004, just before the end of a practice session. Halvorson was well on his way to breaking several Canadian national junior football rushing records. 2006 saw University of Manitoba pivot and former Winnipeg Rifle, Nate Friesen, take the award. Edmonton Wildcat record holder, Tristan Jones was honored as the 2007 Wally Buono Award winner for being the finest junior football player in all of Canada. Winnipeg Blue Bomber, Cassidy Doneff, followed Jones as the WBA winner in 2008. In 2009, the award went to Andrew Harris who is now a member of the BC Lions and was voted the Most Valuable Canadian in the 2011 Grey Cup. For the 2010 season, the award was presented to Kleevens Jean-Louis, who is the first winner selected from the QJFL. 2011 saw Vancouver Island Raider Slotback Michael Schaper take the award. This year’s winner is Quarterback Jordan Yantz of the Vancouver Island Raiders.
For history and media pictures of the Wally Buono Award and award winners please see: http://www.flickr.com/