That’s the story this year following tabulation of all results and coach Scott Brady has announced that a record number of seven of his Mountie squad have attained Academic All-Canadian status.
Their names along with three others who came close and made the honourable mention list will be prominently displayed in the entrance hall of the Athletic Centre.
Brady says the university’s goal is to attract good students who fit well into the athletic program. He says many of them contribute both to the campus as well as to the greater Sackville community. One of their proud projects is visiting the schools in the area to help thwart the threat of bullying.
And eight of the 10 young men who will have their accomplishments displayed serve on the Leadership committee.
Heading the list this year is Grant Benjamin followed by Mike Bettle, Matt Zwicker, Andre Goguen, Bob Baxter, Michael Bohan and Mike Rostek, with the trio of Dan Comfort, Seamus Hickey and Avery Maloney completing the roster.
Benjamin, Rostek, Comfort, Hickey and Maloney will definitely be returning for training camp, which begins on Aug. 11. Bohan will be pursuing a bachelor of education degree at Mount St. Vincents, Bettle will be working toward a master’s degree, Zwicker has accepted a position with a firm in Ontario and Baxter is the owner of a local microbrewery. Goguen has been accepted to law school but may return to the team for his final season of eligibility.
The David Sears Memorial Plaque was established in the late 1970s to recognize the academic accomplishments of the football players. He had been an outstanding high school athlete but a heart condition saw him attend Northeaster University in Massachusetts before returning to begin his first year of university study and serve as team trainer.
He passed away shortly after completion of the 1975 season and funds were donated so his legacy might live on through recognition of outstanding student-athletes.
Several rookies have expressed a desire to make it to the “plaque of fame” and it continues to spark interest from the team.
Obviously, coach Brady will be expecting these outstanding students to provide both on the field and and provide locker room leadership as they set the tone for newcomers to the team.
It’s interesting to note that five of the 10 members being listed this year are from New Brunswick – actually three from greater Moncton and one from Sackville. Three are listed as being from Ontario and one each from Nova Scotia and Pennsylvania.
Four of the players have earned All-Conference honours during their playing time here, further evidence that it is possible to combine the best of two worlds – academics and athletics.