Talented athletes share District 8 senior football MVP hardware
KITCHENER — Colin Conant has complimentary things to say about Andrew Horscroft.
“He’s got a crazy good arm. … Not only is he mobile, but he’s got great reads and a great release. He knows where his receivers are going to be and he knows when to hit them.”
And Horscroft is quick to toss the compliment back at Conant.
“He’s quick, he’s really quick. He’s not the biggest guy, but he’s trouble every time he’s on the field.”
Horscroft and Conant have been named co-MVPs of the District 8 senior boys’ football league, for outstanding individual play and leading their teams to the championship game.
Horscroft was a quarterback/ defensive back/punter with the St. Benedict Saints and Conant was a receiver/defensive back/ kick-return specialist with the St. David Celtics.
Horscroft improved as the season progressed and guided the Saints to a 5-1 regular-season record and the first senior football championship in school history. The Grade 12 student threw 12 touchdown passes and had five rushing scores during the regular season. And he had a pair of rushing touchdowns in the Saints’ 25-21 win in the D8 final.
“Andy had a sensational year for us. He continued to get better each and every week, and beat teams with his arm and legs,” said Saints head coach Joe Vale.
“His ability to manage the game and get all receivers involved made our offence tough to defend.”
Horscroft and the Saints followed up their D8 championship by defeating the St. Mary’s Mustangs, of Owen Sound, 29-7 in a Central Western Ontario playoff game. The Saints’ season ended just three days later with a 39-13 loss to the Jacob Hespeler Hawk in a CWOSSA semifinal game.
“Overall, it was a good season and I wouldn’t have wanted to play with anyone else,” said Horscroft. “Hopefully, the school will win more D8 banners and get back to CWOSSA.”
Horscroft, who plays football for the Cambridge Lions and senior basketball at St. Benedict, is open to the idea of playing at the university level. However, he has no concrete offers to ponder. He has yet to decide whether he’ll return for a fifth year of high school.
Conant used his blazing speed to score eight TDs on the season, including a game in which he scored a rushing TD, a receiving TD and a defensive “pick-six” score. The Grade 12 student rarely left the field and played a starring role as the Celtics finished first in the regular-season standings with a 5-1 record.
In addition to his great speed, Conant possesses a strong knowledge of the game and has a knack for knowing where the ball is going to be.
“Colin was a leader on and off the field. He played the game with intensity and passion,” said Celtics coach Steve Ennis. “He was a hawk on defence and his speed was unmatched on offence and special teams. He is the kind of kid you build the program around.”
Conant is also unsure of what comes next. He’s considered trying to play at the next level, but also thinks this might be the ideal time to walk away and focus on his education. Outside of school, he plays soccer and dabbles in track and field.
The MVP award, he said, helps soften the sting of losing the D8 final to the Saints.
“I wanted to play my best in what is probably my last year of high school and I did that,” he said.
“We didn’t win the championship, but this is a nice consolation prize.”
Conant is the second straight St. David student to win the award, following in the footsteps of current University of Waterloo player Justin Henderson.
Colin Conant of St. David, left, and Andrew Horscroft of St. Benedict have been named co-MVPs of the District 8 senior boys’ football league.