TRURO, N.S. – Riley Gabriel of the Cobequid Cougars has been named the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Football League’s Division 1 most valuable player.
Gabriel, a Grade 12 student, played multiple positions for the Cougars this season, including quarterback, running back, receiver, defensive back, linebacker and punt and kick returner.
“It’s obviously nice to get the recognition but it’s never really a priority for me to get awards,” said Gabriel, a 17-year-old North River resident. “I play hard and I help my team any way I can and it leads to things like this.”
Cougars coach Brent MacPhee said Gabriel is most deserving of the MVP honour, which was voted on by the league’s coaches.
“He was invaluable for us,” said MacPhee. “This is my 19th year and I’ve seen enough good players come and go, and he’s not lacking … he’s just solid all the way through as a player, a competitor, he’s smart; he does well in school, too. He’s not just a guy who’s good in sports, he’s good at other things.
“There’s not a player in the league I’d want to trade him out for – there really isn’t.”
Gabriel was also named to the all-star team at defensive back, along with teammates Michael Adams, Grade 11 (defensive back) and Dylan Benoit, Grade 12 (linebacker).
“Those really are three special athletes,” said MacPhee.
Gabriel led the Cougars offence all season before leaving the NSSAF Tier 2 championship game against the Halifax West Warriors with an injury. The Cougars went on to win that game 28-21.
Gabriel and fellow Cougar Kamryn Matheson played in the Football Canada Cup last summer in Wolfville and both were selected to represent Canada at the 2018 International Bowl in Texas in January.
Gabriel plans to play Canadian university football next season, but is undecided which school he will attend.