Bateman’s Joshua Olafsen signs on the dotted line to commit to Windsor earlier this month. (Twitter photo)

Bateman’s Joshua Olafsen signs on the dotted line to commit to Windsor earlier this month. (Twitter photo)

Bateman’s Olafsen commits to Windsor Lancers football program

Timberwolves all-star heading to Ontario in 2021, moving from defence to offence

Bateman’s Joshua Olafsen is making the jump from defence to offence when he joins the Windsor Lancers in 2021, but the star defensive end is ready for the challenge.

Olafsen announced his commitment to the Ontario school earlier this month. The Grade 12 Robert Bateman Secondary School student spent the majority of his time with the Timberwolves as a DE and on the offensive line.

Last year as a Grade 11 athlete he was named a AA Eastern Conference all-star on defence.

RELATED: VIDEO: Olafsen Grade 11 highlights

At 6-2, 230 pounds, Olafsen was a good fit at those positions at the high school level, but Windsor believes his combination of size and speed and his knowledge of line play at both ends of the ball will make him a great fit as a running back and tight end.

“It’s not too unfamiliar to me,” he said of playing on the offensive side of the ball. “I played some receiving position in Grade 10 and I’m pretty familiar with blocking the last couple of years. I made the transition to O-line because the team needed me there but offence fits more what I’m looking for. I like being creative with the ball and moving the ball around so I’m looking forward to that.”

Olafsen explained he developed a rapport online with Windsor coach Randall Beardy and proving to him and the other Windsor coaches that he had the work ethic and drive to be a part of their program.

The Lancers football program has a strong Abbotsford connection, with Olafsen’s former Timberwolves teammate Ty Martens on the team. Jalem Catlin, formerly of the Abbotsford Panthers, is also on the Lancers roster.

Olafsen and Martens were a part of the 2018 Timberwolves team that advanced to the AA provincial final.

RELATED: Bateman falls to Vernon in provincial final

Football didn’t become a passion for Olafsen until Grade 8, as he was focused on rugby when he was younger. Rugby is still a priority for Olafsen and he hopes to get the chance to suit up for Bateman if rugby is allowed to occur in the spring.

He said focusing on football became much easier thanks to coach David Mills and the Bateman coaching staff.

“He doesn’t spare any details or makes it easy for us and he lets us know what we need to work on,” he said. “He lets you know that it’s up to you if you put his advice to good work, but if you do it’ll get you places. The entire coaching staff were just awesome people to be around and they push you to be your best on and off the field.”

Mills told The News that he’s pleased at how Olafsen has developed.

“Joshua has demonstrated an extremely high work ethic when it comes to football and his preparation,” Mills stated. “His drive, passion for the game, and enthusiasm is second to none. He is a great example of how far had work and determination can take you and he is someone our younger players should look up to. We are all very proud of him and look forward to following his journey as he moves on to the next level.”

Windsor has finished 1-7 the last three seasons, and last made an Ontario University Athletics appearance in 2014. If the season starts as planned, football would begin play in late-August 2021.