Limited mainly to the United States and Canada, gridiron football leaves a smaller international footprint than most sports. But that didn’t stop a group of Island players on the B.C. team, led by Davis and Swift, from leaving a calling card the size of Texas at the FBU Under-18 International Games in San Antonio by beating Europe 49-14 and upsetting the highly-fancied U.S. 38-18. Davis was named player of the game in the latter en route to the title.
The provincial triple-A high school champion Rams were well represented on the B.C. team with quarterback Ashton MacKinnon, running-back Swift, receivers Davis and Brian Dowds and offensive-linemen Christian Krause and Zach Wilkinson. Also representing the Island were offensive-lineman Brodie Henderson of the Belmont Bulldogs, quarterback Liam O’Brien and offensive-lineman Brock Mould of the Ballenas Whalers and Chae-Cody Faickney of the Nanaimo Redmen.
Among the B.C. coaching staff as assistants, under head coach and former CFLer Tom Kudaba, were Mark Townsend from Mount Douglas and Alexis Sanschargrin of Belmont.
“Both Marcus Davis and Mason Swift were major contributors in the victories,” said Townsend.
The scary thing about Davis is he’s only in Grade 11 and will return to Mount Douglas next season as the defending B.C. high school MVP. He was an expansive, multi-threat in the Texas tournament despite taking a vicious hit in the second quarter of the U.S. game that laid him out flat on the field for several minutes. Later cleared to return to the game, Davis proved his toughness by doing just that.
“Marcus was dynamic as ever, being a threat to score ever time he touched the football, whether it was catching the football or returning punts and kickoffs,” said Townsend.
“His already sky-high stock certainly rose higher in the eyes of those NCAA scouts in attendance. I look forward to seeing Marcus play on Saturdays at the next level south of the border in NCAA Division 1, after his final Grade 12 season at Mount Douglas. Marcus Davis is an incredible athlete.”
Graduating Grade 12 player Swift was as swift as usual and with a physical edge.
“Mason was the heart and soul of the B.C. squad and one of the few returning players from the 2011 roster,” noted Townsend, of his B.C. championship game MVP.
“Mason’s trademark punishing running style was once again on display as he ran through and over Team Europe and Team USA players alike. Like Marcus, Mason certainly further enhanced his prospects at the NCAA and CIS levels with his brilliant performance. He is a tremendous football player but moreover he is a special young man and will be a great addition to any college football program.”
Also looking to leave an imprint on the minds of recruiters was graduating Rams receiver Dowds, who rallied from tonsillectomy surgery last month to play in the U-18 tournament. As brilliant in the classroom as on the field, he has had interest from Harvard, Penn, Yale, Princeton as well as CIS teams UBC, McGill, York, Queen’s and Western after setting the B.C. high school record with 14 touchdown catches this season.
© Copyright 2013