Mouat’s Jacob Dodd

Mouat’s Jacob Dodd

Mouat’s Dodd among players to watch as high school football season kicks off

Heading into the high school football season, it's safe to say that no player in Abbotsford has bigger cleats to fill than Jacob Dodd.

Heading into the high school football season, it’s safe to say that no player in Abbotsford – and perhaps even province-wide – has bigger cleats to fill than Jacob Dodd.

The W.J. Mouat Hawks’ senior moves into the starting tailback role recently vacated by Maleek Irons, who happens to be the most prolific rusher in the storied history of B.C. high school football. Irons racked up a mind-bending 6,175 yards and 76 rushing touchdowns on behalf of the Hawks, before graduating and moving on to the NCAA Div. 1 Ohio Bobcats.

Some might find the challenge of following Irons to be daunting, but Dodd isn’t worried about the pressure – he’s excited for the opportunity.

“I’m just going to go in and do my best and see what happens,” he said. “I’m just hoping I can do what (Irons) did – play my hardest and just have a really good season.”

Dodd showed flashes of brilliance last season as a Grade 11 – with Irons sitting out a game against the Rutland Voodoo in October, he scored five TDs, and head coach Denis Kelly believes he’s got what it takes to carry the mail as a senior.

“He’s a very good tailback,” Kelly asserted. “He’s been working out all summer long and doing all the right things, and he has a chance to play college football.

“He’s a very good inside runner, and he’s deceptively fast. He’s very hard to bring down, and picks up a lot of extra yards by maintaining his balance. He’s going to surprise some people.”

Dodd is among the leaders of a Hawks team which begins the season as an honourable mention in the provincial AAA rankings. Other key players include Slater McRae (slotback and defensive back), Providence Ndizeye (slotback, cornerback) and wideouts Elijah Falconer and Cole Barker. Quarterbacks Noah Falconer and Noah Dietrich are battling for playing time.


The Robert Bateman Timberwolves, who clash with Mouat on Sept. 5 in the non-conference opener for both teams (7:30 p.m. kickoff, Mouat Field), look at the perennial powerhouse Hawks as a role model for their AA program.

“The kids look forward to it every year, because they have friends over there and they want to be known as a football powerhouse as well,” said Dan Village, who takes the T-Wolves’ head-coaching reins this season. “Hopefully in a couple years, we’ll be a powerhouse just like Mouat. That’s the goal for us.”

Village, who played his CIS football at Queen’s University, is adapting elements of the Golden Gaels’ playbook for his Bateman charges. He’s got some good skill-position talent at his disposal – including QB Josh Friskie, running back Austen Zacher and receiver Tyson Gibson – along with an offensive tackle in Chase Joseph (6’4”, 270 pounds) who is earning university looks. Village is also bullish on his team’s defensive potential.

“We have a lot of speed and a lot of good athletes,” he said.


The Abby Senior Panthers might be the best of the local AA crop this season, as they return virtually their entire roster after being comprised of predominantly Grade 11 talent last season.

The current Grade 12 crew made it all the way to the provincial junior final during their Grade 10 year, fueling hopes that this could be a big year for the Panthers at the senior level. That elite crew of seniors is led by the likes of QB Jordan Fox, running back Grayson Marquardt and receivers Jordan Goheen and Madaraka Kuol.

“We expect a great deal from this group,” said assistant coach Elmore Abraham, whose team is No. 5 in the B.C. AA rankings to begin the year. “We have 18 returning seniors, very skilled players and a good line.”


Last year’s edition of the Rick Hansen Hurricanes was a senior-laden group, and after heavy grad losses, new head coach Rob Hallam acknowledged that this year is a bit of a rebuilding project for the AA squad.

That said, there’s a lot of talent at the West Abby school, much of it at the younger grade levels. Running back Dylan Manocha, receiver Balraj Mangat and offensive lineman Arbaaz Gill – all Grade 10 players – were part of the Team B.C. under-16 program over the summer, while running back Devin DaCosta lends senior leadership to the squad.

“We have a very young team at the senior level – we’re going to be in tough,” Hallam said. “The juniors have a lot of good athletes.

“The big thing this year is, let’s get as much experience and learn as much as we can. Next year, we’ll start the season with 30 or 40 kids on the senior team.

“There’s a lot of promise in the future.”

Just Posted

Vera Stryjak (left) of Seattle and her mom Helen Serafimova of Abbotsford have benefited from the Archway Social Prescribing Program for Seniors. (Submitted photos)
Abbotsford program links vulnerable seniors to health supports

Archway Social Prescribing Program helps with community connections and more

Satwinder Bains of Abbotsford is the recipient of the 2021 aculty Service Excellence Award from University of the Fraser Valley. (UFV photo)
Satwinder Bains receives UFV Faculty Service Excellence Award

Bains has guided South Asian Studies Institute as director since 2006

The City of Abbotsford has prepared a draft Urban Forest Strategy that is now headed to public consulation.
Draft plan adopted for managing Abbotsford’s urban forests over next 25 years

Urban Forest Strategy now heads to public-consultation process

Country music star Chris Lane stops in Abbotsford next February. (Submitted)
Country music star Chris Lane coming to Abbotsford

Multi-platinum artist bringing ‘Fill Them Boots’ to Abbotsford Centre on Feb. 19, 2022

The Abbotsford International Airshow is back for 2021 with the ‘SkyDrive’ concept.
Abbotsford International Airshow returns for 2021 with ‘SkyDrive’

New format features a drive-in movie type experience, show set for Aug. 6 to 8

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

John Kromhoff with some of the many birthday cards he received from ‘pretty near every place in the world’ after the family of the Langley centenarian let it be known that he wasn’t expecting many cards for his 100th birthday. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Cards from all over the world flood in for B.C. man’s 100th birthday

An online invitation by his family produced a flood of cards to mark his 100th birthday

FILE – Nurse Iciar Bercian prepares a shot at a vaccine clinic for the homeless in Calgary, Alta., Wednesday, June 2, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
B.C. scientists to study effectiveness of COVID vaccines in people with HIV

People living with HIV often require higher doses of other vaccines

A 50-year-old woman lost control of her vehicle Tuesday, June 15, crashing through a West Vancouver school fence that surrounds playing children. (West Vancouver Police)
Driver ticketed for speeding near B.C. school crashes into playground fence days later

‘It’s an absolute miracle that nobody was injured,’ says Const. Kevin Goodmurphy

Dr. Réka Gustafson, who is British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer, speaks during a news conference in Vancouver on April 8, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. public health officials prepare to manage COVID-19 differently in the future

Flu-like? Health officials anticipate shift from pandemic to communicable disease control strategies

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Camper the dog was found Wednesday night by someone walking their own dog along Hollywood Crescent. She had gone missing after a violent attack on June 11. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Camper the dog found safe after fleeing violent van attack in Victoria

Young dog was missing for almost a week after incident

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read