McMaster now home to Jacob Hespeler DB

Marauders welcome Cambridge commit to their Class of 2017.

Like many others, Mario Alyas, a defensive back from Jacob Hespeler Secondary School, had a choice to make before joining the McMaster Marauders, hockey or football?

Alyas had been strapping on the skates since he was four years old. But, ten years later, he hit the gridiron for the first time with the Cambridge Lions. While he balanced to two sports until his fifth year of high school, it was football that took centre stage. The Marauders may have made the choice a little easier.

Hailing from Cambridge, Ontario, Alyas felt that McMaster was the right fit for a few reasons. He said he chose the university because of the small, scenic campus and the fact that Hamilton is under an hour away from home. He added he committed to Mac because of the school’s reputable academics, the experience of the coaching staff and the success of the football program.

“The coaching staff at McMaster is remarkable, the amount of experience they have not only coaching at the U Sports level, but playing and coaching professionally is what separated Mac from other schools,” Alyas said.

“They know what it takes to get to the next level and that’s what I feel is important. The coaching staff also made me feel like I belong at Mac. After my visit, I knew that’s where I wanted to spend the next four to five years.”

Mario Aylas (centre, with the McMaster helmet) celebrates his commitment. Courtesy of Mario Alyas.

The 5’11, 185lbs future Communication Studies student spent three years playing with the St. Benedict Saints (Waterloo Country Secondary Schools Athletics Association). In his fifth year, he transferred to the Jacob Hespeler Hawks (WCSSAA). He won two OVFL championships in 2013 and 2016. In 2016, he and his team won a WCSSAA and a CWOSSAA championship before coming up short in the OFSAA finals. He was given a 2016 WCSAA all-star honours.

The success Alyas has experienced has had him cross paths with the home of the Marauders. “I have good vibes from the stadium after winning a provincial championship at Ron Joyce this summer and wanted to continue my success at Mac,” he said.

Courtesy of Mario Alyas.

Alyas’s athleticism doesn’t stop on the field or the ice. The junior hockey player also ran track for two years and made it to the OFSAA finals as a sprinter. Now, he will be bringing his speed to the U Sports level.

“I want to thank my family and my coaches at Jacob Hespeler more than anything,” Alyas said. “None of this would have been possible without their support and guidance. I look forward to attending McMaster!”

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