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Loucks named most outstanding rookie in Canadian college football

Although this may have been his rookie year, Mountie quarterback Jakob Loucks won the respect of fans, teammates and coaches. PAUL D. LYNCH PHOTO – PAULDLYNCH.COM
Although this may have been his rookie year, Mountie quarterback Jakob Loucks won the respect of fans, teammates and coaches. PAUL D. LYNCH PHOTO – PAULDLYNCH.COM

SACKVILLE, N.B. – Ask any coach and they will admit that recruiting football players is much like a “crap shoot” – you never are sure of what you have until they perform on the field. Some might even compare it to drilling for oil – sometimes you hit a gusher but then you may find nothing but a dry well.

Well, the Mountie talent hunters have found more gushers than not and the past season put an exclamation mark on this.

Not only did they locate and recruit the top rookie in the Atlantic Conference, but selectors from across Canada have chosen him as the most outstanding first year performer in Canadian college football.

But it really is no surprise. Jakob Loucks was scouted by numerous US schools after playing his senior year in New York State, but he chose to demonstrate his talents in Sackville, N.B., where the Mounties had a gaping opening for a top notch QB. And this young man from Cornwall, Ont., more than filled the bill as he stepped into oversized shoes that had been filled by All-Conference star Brendon Leyh for the previous four seasons. And he did it with poise and self confidence, leading his team to a second place finish and a berth in the conference finals.

Well, the Mountie talent hunters have found more gushers than not and the past season put an exclamation mark on this.

Not only did they locate and recruit the top rookie in the Atlantic Conference, but selectors from across Canada have chosen him as the most outstanding first year performer in Canadian college football.

But it really is no surprise. Jakob Loucks was scouted by numerous US schools after playing his senior year in New York State, but he chose to demonstrate his talents in Sackville, N.B., where the Mounties had a gaping opening for a top notch QB. And this young man from Cornwall, Ont., more than filled the bill as he stepped into oversized shoes that had been filled by All-Conference star Brendon Leyh for the previous four seasons. And he did it with poise and self confidence, leading his team to a second place finish and a berth in the conference finals.

While he unveiled a multiplicity of tools, it was his toughness and dedication that won the respect of fans and teammates. Nobody will forget his gutsy showing in the championship game. Sent to the hospital with his team ahead, he returned in the final quarter, suited up and was back on the field almost before his coaches became aware of his presence. Still wearing his hospital ID bracelet he rallied his troops but was unable to bring them back from a deficit.

Veteran fullback Alex Doyle from Dieppe, upon when learning his friend had been named the top rookie in the country, said, “Jakob may have been considered a rookie but he played like an experienced veteran. He quickly took charge and the team came together around him and he exerted a tremendous (influence) on every member of the team, proving to be a truly uniting force.”

Head coach Scott Brady said Jakob enjoyed an outstanding rookie season and deserves the recognition.

“He improved each and every week and is a true playmaker at his position. He consistently turns bad plays into great ones. His toughness is incredible and he quickly won the respect of everyone in the program. Jakob is a special player with a very bright future ahead of him.”

There is no doubt the Mounties have a talented quarterback with four years of eligibility remaining. He does many of the little things well, much like his predecessor and has the quickest feet in his position since the days of Kelly Hughes, who led the team in rushing one season. Over the past season he ran for 404 yards, mostly when all else failed, giving the Mounties that extra dimension. Opposing defenses were often caught red handed when he opted to take off with the ball, reminding fans of not only Hughes but Sean Hickey, who led the Mounties to the Vanier Cup in 1991.

Mounties head coach Scott Brady says rookie quarterback has a bright future ahead of him.

The Mountie coaches appear to have an affinity for throwing sevens with the dice. Over the years they recruited four other great ones, including the brilliant Eric Lapointe in 1995, speedster John Hutchison in 1980, Grant Keany (‘88) and Seb Roy.

Even though the Mounties ended as runners-up for the conference championship they failed to land a single All-Canadian designation. The remaining teams – St. F.X. Acadia and St. Mary’s each had at least one.

While checking out the awards it was discovered that the local university has enjoyed a good deal of success in having representatives in most categories.

John MacNeil, Mark Forsyth and Kevin, all coaches at one time or another, have received the Gino Fracas Award for outstanding work as volunteer or part time coaches.

Eric Lapointe has earned the Hec Creighton Award on two occasions as the player of the year. Randy Power and Larry Oglesby have won the President’s Trophy as the top defensive players and Kelly Jeffrey and Steve Bruno have been recognized as coaches of the year.

And with so many nationally-recognized athletes on the list it will be the challenge for Brady to seek out the brightest and best and convince them Sackville should be their home for the next five years. In this manner the Mounties may again rise to the top and thrill their fans with outstanding performances under the guidance of the best rookie in the country – Jakob Loucks.

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