The “Quebec” Quarterback Conundrum Part A : Not lost in translation – Quarterback development in Quebec
CFC reporter Rahim deMolitor was tasked with getting to the bottom of the CANADIAN QUARTERBACK CONUNDRUM. This multi-series story digs
Mac Sarro’s approach to football may have taken a bit longer than most, but he has still ended up where many strive to be. Mac Sarro has committed to play university football next year, and he will be doing so at home here in Calgary.
Height & Weight:
Calgary Junior Colts (CJFL)
Notre Dame High School
Calgary Hilltoppers (Midget)
University of Calgary
2009, committed 2012
Mac Sarro didn’t even strap on the pads until high school. When he did, it was for a relatively new but respected program, the Notre Dame Pride. After his first season Mac realized a passion for the game and he decided to play Minor football as well. He played Midget football for two seasons with the Calgary Hilltoppers organization. Throughout those five seasons of football Mac played the position of tight end. In his final year of high school football Mac was recognized for his efforts and was named Notre Dame’s Most Improved Player.
During his final season of high school football Mac had his most memorable football experience. Notre Dame was new to division one football in Calgary and because of this was playing a few new opponents that they had yet to play. One of those teams was the powerhouse St. Francis Browns. Although they had never played each other prior, this was already one of the biggest rivalries in Calgary football. Notre Dame showed that they belonged in division one on that day, scoring a last second touchdown to win the game.
“It was the best team experience I have ever been a part of,” says Mac.
After a relatively successful high school football career, Mac was faced with a difficult decision that many high school players face. He decided that it was time to hang up the cleats and called an end to his football career, or so it seemed.
“I was unmotivated and I just didn’t really want to play anymore. But I had been playing sports all of my life and I got really bored doing absolutely nothing… so I decided I would try out for the Calgary Colts and I made the team in 2010,” says Mac.
Last year Mac saw his role with team increase dramatically and he started to contribute a lot more. Mac played slotback for the Colts and not only helped the team with timely catches and a few points, but also helped out a lot with his blocking skills. Mac was also fortunate enough to get to lend a hand to the Calgary Stampeders. He got to practice with The Stamps and helped out by running some scout offences and special teams for them this passed season.
But enough about who Mac has helped, there have been a few significant people who have helped Mac along the way too. He credits his parents with being the most influential in his life and his football career.
“The most influential people have definitely been my parents. They’ve always been supportive of everything that I choose to do, but also know how to motivate me and steer me in the right direction. And when it comes to football my dad has been a big help. He played football so he has been able to help a lot with the more in depth aspects of the game.”
Other than his parents, Mac felt that a couple of his former coaches deserved some recognition for their roles in his development.
“Aside from my parents, my high school football coach Dave Diluzio has been a constant source of motivation to me. He is always available to lend an opinion and still helps to mould me as a player. Another coach that has really helped my football career was our receiver coach with the Colts, Ryan Thelwell. In just one season with the Colts he taught me more about the position than I had learned in my whole career.”
Mac’s experience with the Colts was definitely great for his growth as a football player. It has taken him from a relatively new football player to an individual ready to compete at the intercollegiate level. Not only has it prepared him physically, but it has prepared him mentally by making him feel comfortable and ready to compete.
“I think that playing with the Colts will help a lot in terms of adjusting to the game speed of the CIS. Junior ball is a step up from high school, and CIS is a step up from that,” says Mac. “I think it will provide an easier transition to CIS because I’ve played with this age group before, and athletes of similar skill level. The Colts also helped me develop my skills. Things like my route running, and understanding of defensive concepts and how to beat them.”
Now Mac is going to take the skills he has learned and apply them. He has a few goals in mind for the coming years, both in football and in his educational pursuits. However Mac has already gotten started on his education.
“I actually have been attending the U of C for a while now; I’m in my third year of a Geophysics major. Hopefully that will earn me a decent career in the oil industry. I mean I would love to play in the CFL, but ultimately my goal is to graduate with a degree that will set me up with a good job that I enjoy. I am a student first and an athlete second,” states Sarro.
“My goals in respect to football have always been to help whatever team I’m a part of win, in whatever capacity that may be… The goal with the Dinos, as I’m sure it is with everyone on the team, is to win the Vanier Cup. Personally I would like to have a role where I contribute a decent amount to the team.”
Whatever the future holds Mac will consider himself fortunate just to be playing the game he loves.
“I love football because of the camaraderie you gain with your team-mates. Just being a part of something greater than myself, with people who have a common goal, is something I am very grateful for and feel blessed to be a part of.”