Marauder football rookie Danny Vandervoort had a season that many veterans work all their careers to achieve, and it’s only his first year playing at the university level.
It didn’t take long at all for the Barrie, Ont. native to find his place in the Marauder football club and prove to many that he was going to be a starter this season.
The Bear Creek Secondary School graduate topped off his rookie season with 31 total catches for 594 yards and eight touchdowns in eight season games.
Although the game of football has always been his primary focus, Danny also dabbled with some success in both basketball and track, though his passion for the football is what kept him involved despite other options.
“Football was always my passion. I played basketball and ran track in high school but for me it really wasn’t as fun,” said Vandervoort.
“It was just kind of something to do during the off-season to stay in shape.”
Since he started playing the game at eight, Danny knew that it was always going to be an important part of his life, even though he originally stumbled upon the sport accidentally.
“It was grade two when I started playing football, my dad signed me up for a football camp but it ended up being a football league, so it sort of started out for me accidentally actually.”
With scouts all over the CIS trying to lure Danny to their University, it was McMaster in the end that had the coaching staff, academics and facilities to convince the rookie that McMaster was the most suitable decision for him.
“McMaster was overall the best fit for me, the academics were very high and with football being really good it was an easy decision for me,” said Vandervoort.
However, it isn’t always smooth sailing, as being a rookie in general can prove to have it’s challenges when trying to find a rhythm at a new school and with a new team.
“I really just wanted to fit in with the team but making sure I wasn’t stepping on anybody’s toes,” said Danny.
“My goal was to get to start but not get the resentment, but that never happened which was great.”
Despite stellar freshman statistics which would lead Danny to both an OUA Rookie of the year and CIS Rookie of the year win, it all came down to achieving time on the field.
“As a rookie I just basically wanted a spot on that field, that was my main goal and everything else that happened for me was just sort of above and beyond.”
“I ended up starting my first week here, which was amazing and going off from there. I never planned on it.”
Being a part of the Marauders means being apart of something bigger than a football team. To Danny Vandervoort, it’s about being a part of a family unit.
“Being a Marauder means being a family. You go to other universities and you don’t really have that feel. There is a lot of individualism at other school’s but when you come here, you have great players on the team but there is still always that great camaraderie with the team and it just feels really great to be a part of that.”
With another season come and gone for Marauder football and a series of challenges which lead to an early season end for the Maroon and Grey, it seems that a player such as Danny Vandervoort might be exactly what the Marauders need to help bring home another Vanier Cup for the football club.
With everything he has achieved in his first season as a Marauder, Danny Vandervoort knows that his work is nowhere close to being done. Five years can fly by and there is one thing in particular that the number 83 in Maroon and Grey wants to accomplish for his University.
“My goal here is to reach for another Vanier Cup, that is what I really want to accomplish in my five years here. I want to get a national title for my school.”
The women’s volleyball team sadly returned home from the CIS Championships empty handed, after consecutive losses against the Regina Cougars on Mar. 1.
The Cougars took over the Championships from the start to easily brush off the Marauders, securing themselves a spot in the final and deeming the Marauders to a fifth place consolation game which took place on March 2.
Rookie Sophie Bukovec led the Marauders in the match, but was held to a negative hitting percentage with five kills. Maicee Sorenson also put forth a commending effort in the loss with seven points with four kills, an ace and two blocks.
Things seemed to be looking good for the Maroon and Grey early on in the match on Saturday, as the Marauders took five of the first six points giving them an early and encouraging lead in the first set. The Cougars would gradually start gaining on the Marauders lead and would soon tie the set at 11-11 with a quick play through the middle. Momentum would stay in Regina’s favor as the hosting squad shot ahead of the Marauders 16-12 at the technical timeout. That lead would only continue to grow for the Cougars as the Marauders would fall behind in the dying minutes of the set. A Marauder service error brought up set point and the Cougars would dominate on the last play of the game taking the first set 25-18.
Regina would only continue their dominance into the second set, with McMaster fighting hard to try and keep the score close throughout. A combo block on the right side would put the Marauders within to within two-points of the Cougars as the set would sit at 8-6. The Cougars would not take long before they struck back, winning the next eight of 12 points giving them a comfortable 16-10 lead over the visiting Marauder squad. Following the technical timeout, a late surge would bring the Marauders within four points, but the Cougars were not giving up without a fight as they would continue to push back, taking the second set 25-20.
Facing a large uphill battle against a dominating home force, the Marauders would quietly enter an important third set. Regina would find a way to yet again race ahead of McMaster and claim the first 12 of 16 points in the set. A dominating Regina setter would put the finishing touches on the Marauder squad, taking the third and final set 25-15 and giving the home team a 3-0 sweep over the McMaster contingent.
McMaster can only take this past weekend’s loss as an example of the kind of talent that exists outside of the OUA. With their unparalleled success this season, the women’s volleyball squad have a lot to be proud of, and a lot to take away for their future seasons.
Coming off of a whirlwind weekend of success for the Marauder swim team, it is no surprise that Head Coach Andrew Cole was thrilled to sit down and talk about his team’s success this season.
With so many elements leading to his team’s success, and so much promising skills to discuss, there was one name in particular that Coach Cole couldn’t help but mention when talking about his swimmers. That name was Martyn Siek, whose improvements on the season were “unparalleled” said Coach Cole of his rookie swimmer.
Hailing from Ancaster, Ont. Martyn Siek began his swimming journey 14 years ago, although the sport was not always a first choice of his.
“I didn’t really choose swimming, it was chosen by my parents. But I’m glad they chose it for me,” said Siek.
“I’m glad they kept me motivated enough to remain in the sport when I had my doubts.”
Opting to stay close to home, Siek said that his decision to swim for McMaster was a fairly easy one.
“The reputation of the school is very good, and had a program well-suited for me, as well as having a talented swim team I believed I would be able to contribute to,” said Siek.
“My club team (GHAC) practiced out of McMaster every day, so I was already familiar with the excellent coaching staff and facilities.”
Going into the season, it is always expected that every swimmer is going to have some jitters and make some mistakes, but as an athlete it is also expected that you set goals and work to improve and achieve them.
Siek knows that his improvements are definitely something to be proud of and that reaching success is not something to take for granted.
“I improved far more than I thought I would,” said Siek.
“It’s always a big change coming from club swimming and joining a varsity team- generally it is difficult to adjust to a new coaching staff and training regimen.”
“I’m really glad I was able to overcome the obstacles of first year-university as well as being a rookie. I was extremely happy with my season, and definitely improved more than I expected to.”
With a newfound confidence and a push to only continue to improve, Siek knows that things are only going to get better as his University career continues.
“As a rookie everything I did was new, and it was nerve-wracking going into my first championship meets,” said Siek about his new responsibilities.
“I proved to myself this season that I was able to handle the workload, and I believe next season will be even better.”
When asked to sum up his season and his experience competing at a University level in one word, he chose the word “fulfilling”.
“With the Marauders, I learned what it truly means to be part of a team.”
Assistant Sports Editor
McMaster’s 2013 Vanier Cup loss to the Laval Rouge et Or proved to be not just a scoreboard loss for the squad; rather, it symbolized so much more. It marked the end of an era for the McMaster football program. After taking his last knee in the maroon uniform, #12 played his last game as a Marauder and finished his five-year leadership role with the McMaster Football Program. After five years behind the high-powered Marauder, McMaster will face their first season without their superstar Quarterback.
With Quinlan bowing out for the first time in five years, Marshall Ferguson will now take over as the leader of the squad for the 2013-14 Season. In his three seasons as the back up, this Kingston native will quickly become an important figure for the Marauder football family.
Not only has Ferguson proven to be an effective member of the Marauder football organization but also has major skill to back him up as he has thrown for over 1,600 yards total in his time with the Marauders. Ferguson also proved his skill after he was asked to attend the annual East-West Bowl this year.
During this year’s off-season, Ferguson was able to attend training camp with the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders where he was able to gain valuable skill and knowledge from Calgary’s offensive coordinator Dave Dickenson. With a more skilled playbook in his hands and a once-in-a-life-time experience at CFL training camp, Ferguson will come into the start of the season stronger than ever, with a Vanier Cup caliber team to back him up.
After sitting down with the Marauders own #67 Bryce Hudson I was able to gain some valuable insight into the upcoming season without Quinlan and his thoughts about his new leader Marshall Ferguson.
“Marsh is a great guy and an excellent leader,” Hudson enthused. “He has a full understanding of our offence and is definitely the guy that we need after losing Kyle Quinlan.”
Not only does Ferguson possess a fighting personality but he proved himself to the world when he was given the grueling duty of stepping in for a suspended Kyle Quinlan during the 2011-12 season.
“He clearly held the ability to start two years ago when he lead us to a 3-0 record versus Guelph, Windsor and Waterloo while Kyle was out,” said Hudson. “Since then, he has only gotten more practice reps, more game snaps and the ability to experience the CFL, as he attended the Calgary Stampeder's training camp,” he added.
Although Quinlan will not be gearing for this 2013-14 football season, Quinlan’s valuable CIS experience will prove to a useful tool in the molding of this year’s squad. Opting for a coaching role this year at McMaster, Quinlan will use his valuable knowledge of the game to once again lead the Marauders. Since Ferguson has spent the better part of his football career at McMaster being led by Quinlan, it will only guarantee him success to have his long-time leader remain near by.
Now that the torch has finally been passed down to #2 in maroon, Ferguson will soon begin to deal with the pressures of leading an entire squad, a pressure that a now-coach Quinlan is all too familiar with.
The team is looking forward to their new beginning under the leadership of a new hardworking Marauder. Although all good things must come to an end, this end is now the start of a new beginning for the boys in maroon and for our former Quarterback and school hero Kyle Quinlan.