York Lions football celebrates 50th season

It’s a big year for the York University Lions football team on the field, and off the field the squad will be celebrating a major milestone with its 50th season.

Established in 1968 by longtime Canadian Football League (CFL) quarterback Nobby Wirkowski, the team, then known as the Yeomen, began interuniversity competition that same season under his direction. Fifty years later, the Lions will take to the pitch with head coach Warren Craney at the helm for the eighth year.

As part of the season-long festivities, two former York football greats will be inducted into the Sport York Hall of Fame in September. Former head coach and York administrator Frank Cosentino and star running back Jeff Johnson, who had a 14-year CFL career after graduating, will be honoured for their tremendous achievements at York.

The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place Friday, Sept. 22, one day before the Lions’ annual Homecoming game. This year’s contest will be extra special, as it is also the Red & Blue Bowl against the rival Toronto Varsity Blues. Kickoff for the game is Saturday, Sept. 23 at 1pm, and York is offering Red and Gold packages to bundle the Hall of Fame and Homecoming weekend into one memorable experience (see below).

The 50th season begins on Sunday, Aug. 27 when the Lions welcome the Western Mustangs to Alumni Field. Also on the home schedule is a Week 3 date with the Ottawa Gee-Gees on Saturday, Sept. 9 and the regular-season home finale on Thursday, Oct. 5 against the defending Yates Cup champion Laurier Golden Hawks.

Packages

All tickets and tailgate with $10 free food truck offering will be free for York alumni, courtesy of York Alumni Relations.

Red Package – $280 (value $320)

  • Football reception event Friday, Sept. 22, 5pm at The Royalton.
  • Hall of Fame dinner and induction ceremony Friday, Sept. 22, 6pm at The Royalton.
  • One-night stay at Novotel Hotel (includes parking).
  • Red & Blue Bowl/Homecoming game pre-game party, $10 free food truck offering, Saturday, Sept. 23, 11am to 1pm.
  • One ticket to Red & Blue Bowl/Homecoming game, Saturday, Sept. 23 at 1pm.
  • $10 food voucher to be redeemed at football game.
  • Special offer: Saturday, Sept. 23 Toronto Argos vs. Montreal Alouettes, BMO Field (includes tailgating party and 200-level ticket), 4pm pre-game party and 7pm kickoff; $5 per ticket will be donated back to supporting York student-athletes.

Gold Package – $495 (value $550)

  • Football reception event Friday, Sept. 22, 5pm at The Royalton.
  • Hall of Fame dinner and induction ceremony Friday, Sept. 22, 6pm at The Royalton.
  • Two-night stay at Novotel Hotel (includes parking).
  • Red & Blue Bowl/Homecoming game pre-game party, $10 free food truck offering, Saturday, Sept. 23, 11am to 1pm.
  • Two tickets to Red & Blue Bowl/Homecoming game, Saturday, Sept. 23 at 1pm.
  • $20 food voucher to be redeemed at football game.
  • York Lions prize pack.
  • 50th season T-shirt
  • Special offer: Saturday, Sept. 23 Toronto Argos vs. Montreal Alouettes, BMO Field (includes tailgating party and 200-level ticket), 4pm tailgating and 7pm kickoff; $5 per ticket will be donated back to supporting York student-athletes.

To order your package, visit york.universitytickets.com.

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