Marauder football rookie Danny Vandervoort had a season that many veterans work all their careers to achieve, and it’s only his first year playing at the university level.
It didn’t take long at all for the Barrie, Ont. native to find his place in the Marauder football club and prove to many that he was going to be a starter this season.
The Bear Creek Secondary School graduate topped off his rookie season with 31 total catches for 594 yards and eight touchdowns in eight season games.
Although the game of football has always been his primary focus, Danny also dabbled with some success in both basketball and track, though his passion for the football is what kept him involved despite other options.
“Football was always my passion. I played basketball and ran track in high school but for me it really wasn’t as fun,” said Vandervoort.
“It was just kind of something to do during the off-season to stay in shape.”
Since he started playing the game at eight, Danny knew that it was always going to be an important part of his life, even though he originally stumbled upon the sport accidentally.
“It was grade two when I started playing football, my dad signed me up for a football camp but it ended up being a football league, so it sort of started out for me accidentally actually.”
With scouts all over the CIS trying to lure Danny to their University, it was McMaster in the end that had the coaching staff, academics and facilities to convince the rookie that McMaster was the most suitable decision for him.
“McMaster was overall the best fit for me, the academics were very high and with football being really good it was an easy decision for me,” said Vandervoort.
However, it isn’t always smooth sailing, as being a rookie in general can prove to have it’s challenges when trying to find a rhythm at a new school and with a new team.
“I really just wanted to fit in with the team but making sure I wasn’t stepping on anybody’s toes,” said Danny.
“My goal was to get to start but not get the resentment, but that never happened which was great.”
Despite stellar freshman statistics which would lead Danny to both an OUA Rookie of the year and CIS Rookie of the year win, it all came down to achieving time on the field.
“As a rookie I just basically wanted a spot on that field, that was my main goal and everything else that happened for me was just sort of above and beyond.”
“I ended up starting my first week here, which was amazing and going off from there. I never planned on it.”
Being a part of the Marauders means being apart of something bigger than a football team. To Danny Vandervoort, it’s about being a part of a family unit.
“Being a Marauder means being a family. You go to other universities and you don’t really have that feel. There is a lot of individualism at other school’s but when you come here, you have great players on the team but there is still always that great camaraderie with the team and it just feels really great to be a part of that.”
With another season come and gone for Marauder football and a series of challenges which lead to an early season end for the Maroon and Grey, it seems that a player such as Danny Vandervoort might be exactly what the Marauders need to help bring home another Vanier Cup for the football club.
With everything he has achieved in his first season as a Marauder, Danny Vandervoort knows that his work is nowhere close to being done. Five years can fly by and there is one thing in particular that the number 83 in Maroon and Grey wants to accomplish for his University.
“My goal here is to reach for another Vanier Cup, that is what I really want to accomplish in my five years here. I want to get a national title for my school.”