ANTIGONISH: Three X-Men were selected to compete on the East team for the 2020 East-West Bowl all-star game, including receiver Isaac Fagnan, fullback Connor Ross and defensive back Cole Virtanen.

The annual game showcases the top U SPORTS football prospects in the country who will be eligible for the following year’s CFL Draft.

This year’s East-West Bowl game was scheduled to be hosted by Carleton University in Ottawa this month, but was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The East-West Bowl game is one of the great U SPORTS events,” notes X-Men football head coach Gary Waterman. “The week of activities has proven to be an excellent development and showcase opportunity for the players where they are coached by other university and CFL coaches and scouted by the various CFL teams. Despite the unfortunate but understandable cancellation of the event we are still extremely proud of all three of our StFX players for being selected to participate in the game.”

Isaac Fagnan is a 5’10”, 190-pound receiver from Bonnyville, Alberta who led the X-Men in receiving this past season, averaging 49 yards per game with 33 catches and 392 total yards on the season. The business student scored three touchdowns and averaged 4.1 receptions per game. Fagnan also saw time on special teams, garnering 14 kick returns for 210 yards and 34 punt returns for 205 yards. His 807 total all-purpose yards in 2019 was fifth overall in the AUS as he averaged 100.9 yards/game.

Connor Ross is a 6’1”, 250-pound fullback from Coldbrook, Nova Scotia entering into his fourth season in the Bachelor of Science in Human Kinetics program. In eight games played this past fall, he had 13 receptions for 138 total yards, averaging 1.6 receptions per game. Ross also averaged 17.3 receiving yards per game.

Cole Virtanen is a 5’9”, 195-pound defensive back from Nanaimo, B.C. who was honoured as an AUS defensive all-star this past season. The Bachelor of Science in Human Kinetics student was fourth overall in X-Men tackling – and ninth in the AUS – with 39.5 on the season, including 36 solo tackles. Virtanen averaged 4.9 tackles per game and had two tackles for a loss. He also added two interceptions for 53 yards and a pair of break-ups on the season.

The East-West Bowl will be back on the U SPORTS agenda in May, 2021.