The Portage Collegiate Trojans football team held their end-of-season banquet on Monday and handed out Co-Offensive Player of the Year awards.
Grade 12s Kye Parker and Rowan Peters were the two players to receive that recognition. Peters was surprised to hear his name called.
"I was super excited," says Peters. "Moving positions a lot, I didn't fully expect it just because I played so many different positions. It was really, really cool."
Peters played quarterback and running back on the offensive side of the ball and was a linebacker on the defensive side. Parker was strictly a running back on offence but spent time as both a linebacker and cornerback defensively.
Parker rushed for 778 yards and scored five of the team's seven touchdowns during the season. Peters finished the season with 327 rushing yards and found the endzone once. Parker reflects on the year.
"I liked this season. It was a lot of fun to play. We got a few wins, which was good. It was nice to take a few home."
The part-time quarterback, Peters, says the transition into that role was tough initially.
"The second game, I played for half of the game (at quarterback). The third game I played. The fourth game, we had a new quarterback, and I played another full game after he got hurt," Peters explains. "It was hard to get chemistry with everyone but they were all super helpful. It was easy to learn with them after the first or second practice."
As graduating players, both of the award winners said it was bittersweet knowing they won't be back in Trojans' uniforms, however, Peters and Parker are hoping to continue their football careers beyond high school. Parker will be looking to play at the university level, and while Peters is hoping to do the same, he will be looking for a school on the east coast specifically.
Peters talks about the main things he learned from playing football with the Trojans that he now uses in his everyday life.
"Trusting everyone on the field because everyone plays a huge part. Trusting everyone really helps," Peters continues. "Also, just talking to people. If they don't know what's going on, you have to help them out, and you hope they do the same for you."
Parker gives his head coach Brendon Brydges immense credit for the success he had this season.
"It was the first year coaching for him, and I thought they did a really good job. All those guys (on the coaching staff) were pretty much brand-new coaches. They all stepped up and did pretty well."
The Portage Collegiate Trojans ended the season with a 2-5 record and were bounced in the first round of the playoffs.