Baltimore's record-breaking running back Mike Pringle was a unanimous selection on the Canadian Football League's All-East team announced yesterday.
Pringle headed an eight-man Baltimore contingent named to the team in a vote of the Football Reporters of Canada.
Slotback Chris Armstrong and tackle Shar Pourdanesh of Baltimore were near unanimous choices, collecting 37 of a possible 38 votes.
Also chosen from Baltimore were fullback Peter Tuipulotu, center Nick Subis, cornerback Irvin Smith, free safety Michael Brooks and punter Josh Miller. CFLs quarterback Tracy Ham was a near miss, losing to Winnipeg's Matt Dunigan by a 20-18 count.
Conspicuous by their absence from the team were nose tackle Jearld Baylis, rush end Elfrid Payton and cornerback Karl Anthony.
Baylis was the CFL's Defensive Player of the Year in 1993, and Payton the runner-up. Anthony was All-CFL last year, as well.
Baltimore's Matt Goodwin lost out to Toronto's Mike Clemons for special teams honors, even though he led the league in blocked kicks (four)
and special teams touchdowns (three). Clemons had 988 return yards on punts and kickoffs.
Baltimore placed five players on the offensive team, but only two on defense.
"That kind of took away some of the enjoyment of the award," said Smith, a first-year player from Maryland who had six interceptions this season. "If you're not going to pick someone like Karl Anthony . . . . he held my hand all the way through the season."
Said Brooks: "You want to see guys who deserve it on there, and I think [halfback Charles] Anthony should have been on there, too."
Goodwin, Rookie of the Year in the East, said, "The whole defense is an all-star defense."
Ham was unmoved by his second-place finish. "I'm happy our guys achieved the award, but myself, I'm trying to stay focused on the big picture."
Besides Pringle, other unanimous picks were Toronto receiver Paul Masotti, Winnipeg slotback Gerald Wilcox and Hamilton rush end Tim Cofield.
NOTE: Pringle (groin) practiced yesterday, but Baylis (calf) did not. Both will play in Sunday's Eastern final in Winnipeg, coach Don Matthews said.