April 10, 2014

Regina Thunder QB named Wally Buono Award winner

BCLions.com Staff

On behalf of The Saint Bernard Pass Charitable Foundation, the BC Lions Football Club is pleased to announce that Regina Thunder quarterback Asher Hastings has been named the Wally Buono Award winner for 2013.

Hastings becomes the 11th recipient of the award, which recognizes the Canadian Junior Football League’s top player each season. Coming in at an intimidating 6’3” and 215 lbs, the Regina native threw for 653 yards on 46 completions for the Thunder during the 2013 regular season and then led the club to a dominating 55-26 championship win over the Vancouver Island Raiders last November.

“Asher not only exhibited superior athleticism on the field this past season, he also demonstrated a tremendous amount of maturity and perseverance away from the game,” said BC Lions VP of football operations and GM Wally Buono. “After seeing firsthand what Asher was able to accomplish in last year’s championship game, he is more than worthy of this honour.”

Throwing for 377 yards and five touchdowns on the day, Hastings was the CJFL’s obvious selection as the title game’s MVP after leading his squad to its historic first-ever CJFL championship.

“I am both proud and humbled by this award,” said Hastings. “My thanks go out to both the Buono and Saint Marche families for their ongoing support of junior football. I also want to thank God for the gifts that I am so grateful to have in my life. I may be the one receiving this award, but it would not be possible without the support of my parents, teammates and the coaching staff of the Regina Thunder.”

In addition to nailing down a national championship in front of a home crowd and earning this year’s Wally Buono Award, Asher was also selected as a 2013 Prairie Football Conference All-Star and a CJFL All-Star.

“Asher embodies what the Wally Buono Award is all about,” added Christie Buono, managing director of the WBA. “He is a leader among teammates and works tirelessly in his community to give back more than he receives. His ability to persevere in the face of adversity and lead his team to a championship serves as an example to the young men in his community and across Canada.”

“Asher has earned a number of awards this past year and is most deserving as our 2013 Wally Buono Award winner,” said Christina Saint Marche. “During difficult times he held his team together as a leader on the field and in the dressing room. We are also particularly proud of Asher’s admirable and refreshing pride in his faith in God and dedication to family. He is a true champion and an outstanding representative of junior football.”

About the Wally Buono Award:

Established in 2003 and funded annually by Christina & Chance Saint Marche through The Saint Bernard Pass Charitable Foundation, the Wally Buono Award provides the only national recognition of Canada’s top junior football player. Recipients must prove their athletic and leadership ability on the field as well as within their community.

Previous Wally Buono Award winners include:
2012 Jordan Yantz, Quarterback
2011 Michael Schaper, Slotback
2010 Kleevens Jean-Louis, DL
2009 Andrew Harris, RB
2008 Cassidy Doneff, WR
2007 Tristan Jones, RB
2006 Nathan Friesen, QB
2005 Jeff Halvorson, RB
2004 Chris Ciezki, RB
2003 Alan Giacalone, RB
The Wally Buono Award Exhibit and Trophy is housed at the Nanaimo Museum & Sports Hall of Fame in Nanaimo, BC.