T he province of British Columbia hosted the biggest moment in McMaster football history at last November's Vanier Cup (played at BC Place Stadium) and now one of the province's best high school football players has decided to don maroon for his CIS career.
W.J. Mouat linebacker Jake Heathcote has committed to play his university football at McMaster.
"If you want to compete nationally, then you have to be able to attract the most talented student athletes from coast to coast," said coach Stefan Ptaszek.
"Jake is one of the best stand up defensive players in the nation. He is also a 90 per cent high school student [making straight As in all of his subjects]. We are very confident that he will have a tremendous impact on our entire campus."
The Mouat Hawks have been one of B.C.'s most successful high school programs, making five provincial finals in the last 10 years, and winning two high school championships. Heathcote has been the team captain the last two years.
Standing 6-foot-3 and weighing in at 225 lbs., Heathcote has been a dominant presence on the field for Mouat.
"He's a great player, with good instincts, a good team guy," said W.J. Mouat head coach Denis Kelly.
"He's probably the best linebacker we've had at the school in 25 years."
A multiple-time team MVP, he was also named an All-Star at the 2010 Canada Cup of Football, and was recognized as an All-Province player by Football BC.
At McMaster he will line up beside his old high school teammate, Allan Dicks, who just completed his second-year as a Marauder after a stellar high school career at Mouat. Both are working towards a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McMaster's Degroote School of Business.
Other Mouat grads are also heading east on football scholarships.
Devin Logan and Deion Bain will be playing for the University of Saskatchewan this fall and Daniel Markin has chosen North Park University near Chicago to continue his football career.
"They all did very well," added Kelly.
GEARING UP FOR GRIDIRON TRAINING
W.J. Mouat hosted eight teams from the Fraser Valley and Vancouver, including perennial rivals Terry Fox and Vancouver College, for a little friendly seven aside touch football Friday afternoon at Mouat field.
"It allows you to work on certain positions with quarterbacks and receivers," said Mouat head coach Denis Kelly. "It allow a little extra time to prepare for the season."
The seven aside football has been going for about 10 years, and is hosted by various high schools in the league to prepare their players for spring training, which begins on May 24.
Mouat's longtime coach is looking forward to his team's chances come fall.
"It's pretty good, one of the best teams we've ever had," said Kelly.
"We have great talent at every position, outstanding skill guys and speed."
Mission Secondary will host a seven aside next Sunday.
- JEAN KONDA-WITTE