Toronto Rush Return Six Core Players For 2017

January 18, 2017

Six team veterans will be returning to the Toronto Rush as Adrian Yearwood, Andrew Carroll, Isaiah Masek-Kelly, Jonathan Martin, Remi Ojo, and Cameron Harris have committed for 2017. It was also announced that the team would be adding the top goal scorer from last season's Vancouver Riptide, Benjamin Burelle. The trio of Yearwood, Masek-Kelly, and Harris have been with the franchise since day one, winning a league-record 54 regular season games since the 2013 season, including an AUDL championship in their inaugural year.

Toronto has qualified for the Championship Weekend final four in all four years of their existence, losing just four regular season games in the East Division in franchise history. The Rush finished the 2016 season 12-2, losing the eventual champion Dallas Roughnecks in the semifinals 27-20.

Yearwood has been one of the most reliable throwers in the league over the past four seasons. He has completed 1063 passes for 97 assists at a 95 percent passing rate for his career.

Known as a speedy coverage specialist, Carroll has solidified Toronto's defense as one of the league's best over the past two years. His 28 career blocks do not do justice to his shutdown defensive play.

After emerging as an MVP frontrunner in the first half of the 2015 season, Jonathan Martin suffered a season-ending ankle injury that continued to affect him into last season. During his last healthy season of play in 2014, Martin collected 16 assists, 35 goals, and 16 blocks in just 160 points played.

A year removed from one of only three 50 assists/50 goals seasons in league history—not to mention 2015 Male Athlete of the Year award from Ultimate Canada, the premier ultimate institution of Canada—Masek-Kelly is still maturing into his prime as a player. It speaks volumes to his level of talent that his 18 assist/31 goal/11 block performance during the 2016 season is considered a down year.

A spring-loaded defender, Ojo has averaged just over 10 blocks per season in his three-year AUDL career. He is often tasked with the most difficult matchups

An all-around star, Harris has not-so-quietly amassed one of the most impressive careers in AUDL history. He ranks fifth all time in assists (167) and seventh in goals (149); he trails only Cameron Brock (486) and Keenan Plew (463) of the Indianapolis AlleyCats,/u> in all-time scores (assists plus goals).

Somewhat undersized for a downfield receiver, Burelle silenced any critics of his game by exploding for a team-best 38 goals in just 12 games last season with the Riptide, chipping in 12 assists and 13 blocks as well.

“Both [Team President] Phil [Watanabe] and I have played and coached against him in the past and recognize what he brings,” said Toronto Head Coach Scott Hastie. “He has a real nose for the disc and is super fast, so we are pumped to have him on board for the summer.”

The re-signings are just the first in a series of upcoming player announcements for Toronto.