Mo­hawks’ Maser go­ing to U of R

Medicine Hat News - - SPORTS - SEAN ROONEY [email protected]­hat­news.com Twit­ter: MHNRooney

It was just a stroke of a pen, but Justin Maser had a hard time putting the mo­ment of sign­ing to play univer­sity foot­ball into words.

The Hat High line­backer com­mit­ted to the Univer­sity of Regina Rams Fri­day, join­ing fel­low Mo­hawks alum­nus Travis Se­menok on a team that could well have more Gas City mem­bers come next fall.

“Words can’t re­ally ex­plain how it feels, to be hon­est,” said Maser, the 2017 Ran­ge­land Foot­ball Con­fer­ence’s de­fen­sive player of the year. “I’ve been play­ing since Grade 5, it’s al­ways been a dream of mine to go play at the next level.”

Af­ter help­ing his team to a fifth straight league ti­tle, Maser saw his high school ca­reer end with a heartbreaking play­off loss to Catholic Cen­tral. He’s pretty much been in the gym ev­ery day since push­ing hard to what­ever comes next, which he now knows means be­ing a rookie on a U Sports team.

“Give me a year, I’ll be try­ing to earn my­self a spot I guess,” he said. “One chap­ter ends, an­other one be­gins. So this’ll be my next chap­ter.”

Rams coach Stephen Bryce tweeted a photo of him­self shak­ing Maser’s hand at the sign­ing, de­scrib­ing the 6foot-2, 210-pound mid­dle line­backer as “ou­s­tand­ing.”

Given that the Rams are grad­u­at­ing a cou­ple lineback­ers, both Maser and thirdyear Se­menok could see them­selves rise on the depth charts quickly next fall.

“He’ll take me un­der his wing for sure,” said Maser, who sure enough was spend­ing some time with Se­menok in Regina Fri­day night. “They see lots of po­ten­tial. It just seemed right.”

Satur­day was set to in­clude a walk-through at Mo­saic Sta­dium, high­light­ing the in­cred­i­ble stage he’ll get to play on. But he also knows the most im­por­tant part of the sign­ing is the schol­ar­ship money which will help him to­wards a de­gree in ed­u­ca­tion.

“They of­fered me full tu­ition, it’s not too far away from home. I want to play foot­ball, I want to get an ed­u­ca­tion so why not go?” he said. “That’s my main pri­or­ity, is ed­u­ca­tion.”

Maser fig­ures five other Mo­hawks team­mates could wind up with post-sec­ondary teams next year, and an­other half-dozen on junior teams across the coun­try. He’s just the first one to sign.

“It’s a big num­ber but we’ve got so much tal­ent on our team,” he said. “I wish we would’ve won it all this year at provin­cials, but that’s foot­ball for you. You win some, you lose some.”

PHOTO FROM TWIT­TER.COM/STEPHENBRYCE55

Regina Rams foot­ball coach Stephen Bryce poses with Medicine Hat’s Justin Maser Fri­day af­ter Maser signed to play with the Rams next year.

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