A pair of Mount Boucherie football players have turned exemplary high school football careers into post secondary opportunities at Canadian universities.
Jarrett Young and Josh Fender—two of just five seniors on the Mount Boucherie Bears senior boys football team this year—have both been offered scholarships to continue playing football.
Young will attend Simon Fraser University this fall while Fender is traveling East, to the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Both will attend their respective training camps in August and may red-shirt in their first season, meaning they will practice with the team for the first year before seeing playing action.
For Young, 18, it was an opportunity that came about after just one year as a starting receiver and just three years of football.
“It’s exciting,” said Young, a speedy 6-foot-4 first team all star with the Bears this year. “This was my first year starting at receiver. It’s going to be a challenge. University is a big jump. I went and watched a game and they are all big boys. I need to bulk up, get faster and learn my position a bit better.”
SFU plays its football in the NCAA Div. II league and is the only Canadian school that is in the NCAA. On the other hand, the University of Alberta is a CIS school, playing at the highest level of Canadian post-secondary sports.
Fender, 17, says it will be a big step up from high school.
“The biggest thing is just the speed and the size and the skill levels,” said Fender, who was recruited as a linebacker but in high school played nearly every position. “It’s going to take a lot of work to get to the point where I will be a contributor.”
Young and Fender helped lead a Bears football team that was very young this year. Despite missing six games to injury, Fender was also named an all star. The pair also played together on the Bears basketball team.
Football coach Mike Godwin says both players had excellent athletic and academic careers while at Mount Boucherie.
“As Josh got healthier towards the end of the season he made a major impact, both with his individual play and his ability to lead others,” said Godwin. “He is the type of kid who could have started for any program in the province; there is always a spot for big, strong, instinctive football players who can also maintain excellent grades in the class room.”
As for Young, Godwin says the wide receiver broke out this year.
“Jarrett really came into his own during a solid off-season,” he said. “Jarrett is a tall receiver who isn’t afraid to attack the ball in the air but he really became an offensive threat as he developed more speed. He is a willing blocker and some of his biggest highlights this past season were big hits rather than touchdowns.”
Along with Young and Fender, two other seniors are also looking to continue their careers in the CIS as Thomas Lammers and Dylan Hoogveld are expected to try to walk on with the University of Toronto.
Coach Godwin says the seniors from this year did a good job in leading by example and hand the Bears football program off to a large group of Grade 11s.
“We didn’t have a lot of seniors last season and our growing pains were apparent on the field,” said Godwin. “However, this year we have a large group of experienced guys who got a lot of playing time as grade 11’s. I expect a strong team this season, and a strong recruiting class in terms of guys moving on to the next level.”
That’s exactly what Jarrett Young and Josh Fender are doing as they get set for off season training leading up to the first year of their post secondary football careers.