Those elusive B.C. and Canadian junior titles yet to be won, Daylon Pommier seriously considered returning for his fifth and final season of football with the Okanagan Sun to take care of some unfinished business.
Instead, the 22-year-old Kelowna product has decided to step outside his comfort zone to pursue an education, and chart a new direction in his football career.
Pommier has landed a scholarship to play this coming season with Montreal’s University of Concordia Stingers.
Former Sun players Max Caron, Paul Spencer and Brendon Urness are all currently members of the Stingers, a factor that should make Pommier’s transition to the university game and his move away from home that much smoother.
“Those three guys are all leaders, I played with them and they all have a great work ethic,” said Pommier, who was a starter in the Sun’s defensive secondary the last three seasons. “It’s an advantage having those guys there, they’ve got a good thing going in Montreal, and they can show me the ropes.
“Getting an education and playing the highest level of football for this age in Canada…what could be better than that ?”
Concordia is also where current Sun head coach Jason Casey played his university football, another factor in Pommier’s decision to pursue new opportunities and leave his junior days behind.
“He completely supported me in whatever I chose to do and he thought I should do this,” said Pommier. “I learned tremendous amounts from him, how to become a grown man and he helped me with that. He’s an alumni of Concordia and based on what kind of person (Jason) turned out to be, that’s the kind of example I want to follow.”
Yet, as much as any single factor, Pommier said Peter McCall’s dismissal as head coach of the Sun in February ironically turned out to be the push he needed to get on with his life and football career.
Pommier played for McCall at Rutland Senior and two more years with the Sun where the two formed a considerable bond.
“A lot of the off field stuff, decisons that were made didn’t sit well with me, I’m pretty close to Pete, so it was a good time for me to evaluate my goals,” Pommier said. “In a strange way what happened to Pete helped me make an important decision. He helped me so much in the past and just by what happened, he helped me again.
“Because of his loyalty and commitment, I was able to see the bigger picture. If I stay here and play my fifth year, maybe I never move on. It’s a huge step and should benefit me for years to come.”
Pommier has three years of eligibility remaining for university football. He’s expected to play in a backup role in the defensive secondary and see some on special teams in his rookie season.
On the subject of his education, Pommier plans on pursuing his history degree while attending Concordia.
As for living in the city of Montreal, Pommier couldn’t be more excited—for one thing, he’s a diehard Canadiens’ fan.
“I’ve been cheering for the Habs since I came out of the womb,” he joked. “If I had to pick a place besides Kelowna to live, that would be it. It’s a beautiful city and there’s so much history there. It’s a hard choice to leave so many people, my family and friends here, all those who supported me. But this feels like the right decision.”
Pommier will leave for Montreal in the middle of July to begin training for the 2011 CIS season.