Assistant Sports Editor
McMaster’s 2013 Vanier Cup loss to the Laval Rouge et Or proved to be not just a scoreboard loss for the squad; rather, it symbolized so much more. It marked the end of an era for the McMaster football program. After taking his last knee in the maroon uniform, #12 played his last game as a Marauder and finished his five-year leadership role with the McMaster Football Program. After five years behind the high-powered Marauder, McMaster will face their first season without their superstar Quarterback.
With Quinlan bowing out for the first time in five years, Marshall Ferguson will now take over as the leader of the squad for the 2013-14 Season. In his three seasons as the back up, this Kingston native will quickly become an important figure for the Marauder football family.
Not only has Ferguson proven to be an effective member of the Marauder football organization but also has major skill to back him up as he has thrown for over 1,600 yards total in his time with the Marauders. Ferguson also proved his skill after he was asked to attend the annual East-West Bowl this year.
During this year’s off-season, Ferguson was able to attend training camp with the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders where he was able to gain valuable skill and knowledge from Calgary’s offensive coordinator Dave Dickenson. With a more skilled playbook in his hands and a once-in-a-life-time experience at CFL training camp, Ferguson will come into the start of the season stronger than ever, with a Vanier Cup caliber team to back him up.
After sitting down with the Marauders own #67 Bryce Hudson I was able to gain some valuable insight into the upcoming season without Quinlan and his thoughts about his new leader Marshall Ferguson.
“Marsh is a great guy and an excellent leader,” Hudson enthused. “He has a full understanding of our offence and is definitely the guy that we need after losing Kyle Quinlan.”
Not only does Ferguson possess a fighting personality but he proved himself to the world when he was given the grueling duty of stepping in for a suspended Kyle Quinlan during the 2011-12 season.
“He clearly held the ability to start two years ago when he lead us to a 3-0 record versus Guelph, Windsor and Waterloo while Kyle was out,” said Hudson. “Since then, he has only gotten more practice reps, more game snaps and the ability to experience the CFL, as he attended the Calgary Stampeder’s training camp,” he added.
Although Quinlan will not be gearing for this 2013-14 football season, Quinlan’s valuable CIS experience will prove to a useful tool in the molding of this year’s squad. Opting for a coaching role this year at McMaster, Quinlan will use his valuable knowledge of the game to once again lead the Marauders. Since Ferguson has spent the better part of his football career at McMaster being led by Quinlan, it will only guarantee him success to have his long-time leader remain near by.
Now that the torch has finally been passed down to #2 in maroon, Ferguson will soon begin to deal with the pressures of leading an entire squad, a pressure that a now-coach Quinlan is all too familiar with.
The team is looking forward to their new beginning under the leadership of a new hardworking Marauder. Although all good things must come to an end, this end is now the start of a new beginning for the boys in maroon and for our former Quarterback and school hero Kyle Quinlan.