Mohawks’ Maser going to U of R
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.”
Regina Rams football coach Stephen Bryce poses with Medicine Hat’s Justin Maser Friday after Maser signed to play with the Rams next year.