Waterloo gives commits good mix of academics, football

Waterloo adds two Ontario commits to their 2019 class.

Focusing on both aspects in the life of a student-athlete, Caelen Fraser, a linebacker from Bishop Macdonell Catholic High School, and quarterback Sam Hepditch from St. David High School, are coming to the University of Waterloo Warriors for more than just football.

Caelen Fraser

Courtesy of Caelen Fraser.

When Caelen Fraser of Guelph, Ontario, visited Waterloo, he found all that he was looking for and more.

“I chose Waterloo because of their highly respected academic reputation, their amazing campus, positive locker room environment and they’re on the rise as a football program. The coaching staff is phenomenal,” said Fraser, who is interested in business and the arts.

Last summer, Fraser, who is 6’0, 220lbs, was coached by Brendan Conway, the Warriors’ linebacker coach. “He was an exceptional mentor,” Fraser said. “He helped me work on technique and develop my football IQ to prep for the jump into university football.”

He added that Coach Adams and Head Coach Bertoia “are both great and genuine people. They really care about not only the development of football skills but also developing the players as a person and preparing them for life. Every coach that I have met…has been very positive and welcoming.”

In Fraser’s eight-year career he has played for the Guelph Junior Gryphons (OFC), the Guelph Bears (OFA), the Waterloo Region Predators (OFL) and the Bishop Macdonell Celtics (District 10). In 2015 he won an OFC championship with the JV Gryphons. He was a captain and team MVP on the 2018 Predators. In 2016 and 2017 he was a captain and team MVP for the Celtics. He is a three-time District 10 all-star from 2016 to 2018. He was also the Celtics “junior male athlete of the year” in 2016 and the “senior male athlete of the year” in 2018.

Sam Hepditch

Courtesy of Sam Hepditch.

The life of a student-athlete is about balance between academics and sport and Sam Hepditch found just that with Waterloo. Interested in computer science, he said Waterloo is “really the place to be to study it… I chose to commit to the University of Waterloo because it was the best fit for me for both school and football.”

He is also interested in doing a double major in computer science and business at both Waterloo and Laurier.

During his time at university camps and on rep teams, Hepditch has grown familiar with a few members of the Warriors’ coaching staff. “I always come away with new information and tips to improve my game whenever I have talked to any of these coaches and I feel like UW is really moving in the right direction with no signs of slowing down,” he said.

“The coaching staff all seem to share the same vision and goals for the team. They want to become a top program in Canadian university football and they definitely have the expertise and support to do that,” he added.

On top of that, Hepditch said he found the coaches to be very interested in developing their players both on and off the field. “(It) makes me feel confident I made the right decision from a football standpoint,” he said. “I cannot wait to learn more from them and have some of my weaknesses exposed by their knowledge of the game.”

Hepditch spent the past three seasons playing as a quarterback. In high school he was a member of the St. David’s Celtics (District 8). He also played for the Waterloo Predators. He was an offensive MVP with the Celtics and was a D8 all-star. He is 6’1, 170lbs and calls Waterloo, Ontario, his home.

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