On Tuesday afternoon, when Deion Bain, Daniel Markin and Jake Heathcote gathered to chat with media about parlaying their success with the W.J. Mouat Hawks into university football scholarships, the conversation took a brief detour into some friendly chirping.
Bain, reflecting on his decision to sign with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, noted that he’ll be joining fellow Mouat senior Devin Logan on the Saskatoon campus – the running back committed to the Huskies back in February.
Markin took that as his cue to chime in.
“At least you’ll have one friend,” he joked, as Bain and Heathcote cracked up.
The good-natured jab was indicative of bond the trio forged as teammates with the Hawks, and as they look back on their high school football careers, they have a lot of positive memories. They helped lead Mouat on a deep playoff run in 2011, making it to the AAA Subway Bowl, where they lost to Mount Douglas.
Bain, as an underclassman, built a reputation as one of B.C.’s best defensive backs. But during his senior year, he turned in an eye-opening performance on the offensive side of the ball, leading the AAA league in receptions (50), receiving yards (880) and touchdown catches (13). He’ll line up as a receiver for the Huskies.
“They’ve got a really fun football atmosphere,” said Bain, explaining his decision to pick Saskatchewan over UBC. “They get 8,000 to 9,000 fans every game, so that’s a plus.”
Heathcote (pictured right, No. 32), an all-province middle linebacker, led the AAA circuit with 109 tackles last season and chipped in with three sacks. He’s headed to McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., where he’ll also join forces with a former teammate. Mouat product Allan Dicks is going into his third year with the Marauders.
Heathcote hopes his career plays out like Dicks’s has to this point – the defensive back helped McMaster win the Vanier Cup national championship last fall.
“That’s definitely one of the reasons I’m going there,” Heathcote noted. “They have a successful team, with good coaches who have good relationships with the players.”
Markin, the Hawks’ quarterback, is ticketed for North Park University, an NCAA Division III school in Chicago.
Div. III programs don’t offer athletic scholarships, but Markin – a straight-A student – has secured a significant academic scholarship. He’ll balance football with plans to major in history, with communications/education minors.
“I’m going there for the whole experience,” said Markin, a mobile QB whose 1,732 passing yards were tops in AAA. “Their student-teacher ratio starts at 12 to 1, and at smaller universities, you’re more interactive in your education. I wanted to be in a classroom setting, rather than a barn setting with 400 people.
“I also wanted to see the world. Chicago is a pretty big city, and it would be fun to live there for four years.”