Both Waterloo teams kickoff OUA football season on Sunday

By Blair Adams

If you are a fan of OUA football, you can catch both Waterloo teams at home this weekend.

The Laurier Golden Hawks open their 2018 season against Ottawa at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

The head coach at Laurier is expecting 2017 OUA MVP, Kurleigh Gittens Junior, to have another big year.

“Obviously every team we face, first and foremost, they're going to know where number 19 is at all times … what that does though is frees up our run game, that also frees up our other receivers, so he as a whole makes our home team better.” Michael Faulds told 570 NEWS.

Tristan Arndt will also be starting at quarterback for Laurier as Michael Knevel is not with the team anymore.

“There are no hard feelings … on either side. He (Knevel) had an outstanding career here, and he's kind of felt that it is time for him to move on.” explained Faulds.

Laurier finished 6 and 2 last season, losing to Western in the Yates Cup.

Meantime, the University of Waterloo enters the 2018 campaign with heavy hearts.

Wide receiver Lam Diing, was stabbed to death at a party in Kitchener back in April.

A 22-year-old man is charged with second-degree murder in connection with Diing's death.

“We're dedicating our season to Lam, so he's in our thoughts each and every day,” said Warriors Head Coach, Chris Bertoia.

Diing's locker is now a shrine. His jerseys, and his picture are hanging up there.

“We miss him, there's no doubt about it. We miss his energy and smile in the locker room … he would have been a big part of our team this year,” Bertoia told KitchenerToday.

On the field, the Warriors took a big step forward in 2017, finishing with four wins and four losses.

The team did not win a single game in 2016 and 2015, and collected just one victory in 2014.

Bertoia says the the goal for this season is to make the playoffs.

“That means we're going to have to knock off a few of the teams that are in that upper echelon. Obviously we take each week at a time, and we knock on wood and hope that we stay healthy.”

Waterloo will host Windsor in their home and season opener on Sunday at 7 p.m.

The Battle of Waterloo between UW and Laurier is scheduled for Saturday, September 15.

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