“As British Columbia’s most successful professional sports organization, we have been very fortunate to have players such as Cory and Jason add to our proud history,” said team president and CEO Dennis Skulsky. “Their outstanding contributions on the field cover two decades of tremendous BC Lions teams while their renowned leadership and professionalism make them worthy recipients of this very significant honour.”
Spending his entire 13-year CFL career with the Lions, Mantyka was a fixture along the Lions offensive line through 202 regular season games; just one of five players in club history to reach the 200-game milestone. Joining the Lions as a supplemental pick following the 1993 CFL Draft, the Saskatoon native actually started his career on the defensive side of the ball before making the switch to offence. His steady and reliable play earned him a 2003 West Division All-Star selection and made him a key part of two Grey Cup championship teams in 1994 and 2000.
One of the most durable and clutch receivers in Lions history, Jason Clermont came to BC as the fourth-overall selection in the 2002 CFL Draft. The Regina native had an immediate impact that year earning West Division Outstanding Rookie honours. By 2004, Jason had established himself as one of the CFL’s top performers and was named its Outstanding Canadian as well as the Most Valuable Canadian in the Grey Cup that year.
Perhaps what Clermont was most known for during his time in the den was his toughness and willingness to pay the price. “He’s probably the toughest receiver I ever played with,” said Geroy Simon who played alongside him for seven seasons. “To see some of the hits he took over the years and to bounce back up and keep on playing, is a testament to who he is as a player and as a person. It shows his roots growing up in the prairies and the work he put in to get to the CFL.”
He earned a Grey Cup ring with the Leos in 2006 and another CFL Outstanding Canadian kudo in 2007 before wrapping his career with the Lions in 2008. As a Lion, Jason was a two-time West Division All-Star and a CFL All-Star in 2007. His 5,917 yards on 428 catches and 37 touchdowns rank him sixth all-time among BC Lions receivers.
“It’s exciting to know that he’s going up on the wall of fame,” Simon added. “He deserves it. He always found a way to get open and he had the strongest hands out of anyone I ever played with.”
The next BC Lions home game is Saturday, August 13 versus the Hamilton Tiger-Cats presented by TELUS. The first 5,000 fans through the gates will receive an Adam Bighill bobblehead.