With a long, fluid stride, New Westminster’s Trew Dancey is capable of covering a lot of turf between the lines.
The 18-year-old put his signature on a different line last week, committing to McMaster University for both his football and academic post-secondary life.
The New West Hyacks linebacker-running back said one of the deciding factors was that McMaster’s coaches were open to letting him carry the ball, despite others believing his future was just on defence.
“That’s what got me, they were open-ended on where I could play,” Dancey told the Record on his decision. “One coach viewed me as a linebacker, on defence. (McMaster’s) coach asked me where I saw myself playing, and they were willing to let me try out at slotback.”
At six foot two and 185 pounds, Dancey feels his contributions on offence can make the adjustment in the Ontario University Athletics Conference.
But it wasn’t all about football. The Hamilton, Ont.-based university impressed the New West native in a lot of areas.
“I would say it checked off all the boxes of what I was looking for in a university — the football, academics, everything.”
New West Hyacks coach Farhan Lalji said the young rusher/linebacker made major strides on the field since first lining up for the squad in 2014.
"We always saw he had good athletic measurement and length in his stride, and academically he took care of it," said Lalji. "In his junior year he got off to a late start but he started to make an impact as the season went on.
"I think from our view Trew's biggest attribute is his versatility. He can line up on both sides of the ball and be an impact player. And the other thing is he's a real good kid, so we're really happy for him."
Dancey was impressed with McMaster's kinesiology department, the field he plans to study in, as well as the opportunities on the gridiron with a team that has been in the playoffs the past six years.
“They have a real young roster but with a good group of returning players, so I felt really comfortable there,” Dancey said of his Feb. 3 visit. “I got really great vibes from the coaches and players. When I called my mom after my tour, I told her I think I found the place.”
In 2016, Dancey was a major force with the Hyacks in their drive to the B.C. semifinals. He posted 382 yards on 71 carries, scoring three times. At the same time he registered 27 tackles and one sack.