Small-town charm

Down­ton came to Mount A with sights set on be­com­ing start­ing quar­ter­back


When Troy Down­ton chose Mount Al­li­son, his sights were set on one day be­com­ing the Moun­ties’ start­ing quar­ter­back.

At only five-foot-eight, he was much shorter than the typ­i­cal QB, but that didn’t change his fo­cus.

“I came to Mount Al­li­son be­cause they wanted me on the team as a quar­ter­back,” he says. “When I vis­ited, I fell in love with the small town and of course be­ing the num­ber one un­der­grad­u­ate univer­sity in the coun­try helped.”

Orig­i­nally from Burling­ton, Ont., Down­ton was in­tro­duced to foot­ball at a young age. When he was four, he fell off the bleach­ers at his brother’s foot­ball prac­tice — and he didn’t miss a beat. The pres­i­dent of the lo­cal foot­ball league wit­nessed the fall and told Down­ton’s mother he was tough and she should sign him up for foot­ball. Soon af­ter he be­gan play­ing with kids up to three years older.

When he was 13, he started play­ing quar­ter­back dur­ing the sum­mers with the Burling­ton Stam­ped­ers and then at M.M. Robin­son High School, where his team went on to win the league cham­pi­onship in his se­nior year.

“Foot­ball is not like any other game,” he says. “My Satur­day is a whole dif­fer­ent game at quar­ter­back than some­one in an­other po­si­tion. Ev­ery­one looks at the game as phys­i­cal, but QB is a chess match. It’s also a team game. You need to have a good team as a whole to com­pete.”

In his third year, Down­ton got the op­por­tu­nity to take his firstever league snap.

“I knew I was never go­ing to be the guy,” he says. “So that mo- ment was re­ally ex­cit­ing.”

Af­ter grad­u­at­ing in 2018 with a bach­e­lor of arts in psy­chol­ogy with a dou­ble mi­nor in so­ci­ol­ogy and women’s and gen­der stud­ies, Down­ton de­cided to give it one more shot and re­turned for his fi­nal year of eligibility.

This year, he got the op­por­tu­nity to be the guy.

“Be­ing named the starter this year is hard to de­scribe,” he says. “I came back for one more chance to play foot­ball and it was ex­cit­ing. I waited a long time for it and even though the sea­son didn’t turn out how we had hoped, I was happy to be able to fin­ish this way.”

A multi-sport ath­lete in hockey and base­ball, Down­ton has been highly in­volved in in­tra­mu­rals on cam­pus and has helped coach the Tantra­mar Ti­tans foot­ball pro­gram.

“Be­ing a stu­dent- ath­lete at Mount Al­li­son helped make the tran­si­tion to univer­sity a lot eas­ier,” he says. “You au­to­mat­i­cally make 80 new friends on the team and each year you add to that.”

Fin­ish­ing his time at Mount Al­li­son in De­cem­ber, Down­ton plans to head home to On­tario to work and start the process of ap­ply­ing to the RCMP.

Troy Down­ton

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