#CFCOPC PLAYERS TO WATCH: Team West Sophomore DB Ballantyne looking forward to matching up against the best

The countdown begins to CanadaFootballChat.com’s Ontario Prospect Challenge (OPC) on the April 29th weekend at Tim Horton’s Field in Hamilton. In the days leading up to the OPC, CFC will preview the teams and players participating in the big event.

Devonte Ballantyne’s experience with the OPC has been great.

“The OPC experience has been great so far I get to match up against great people, meet amazing coaching staff and make new friends and teammates,” said Ballantyne.

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Currently Devonte is a member of the Strathroy Saints of the TVRA league (Thames Valley Regional Athletics). In the past, Ballantyne has suited up for the Forest City Thunderbirds in the London Minor Football Association (LMFA).

Devonte plays defensive back and quarterback. Devonte mentioned, “I play Defensive Back because I love being able to have the chance at getting interceptions and hitting people. My favorite part about playing DB is being able to get into different coverage and being able to do press coverage against receivers”.

Additionally, Ballantyne is on the offensive side of the ball because of his dual threat presence. “I also play Quarterback because I have that dual threat ability but I personally think I have great pocket awareness,” added Ballantyne.

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A highlight from last season was in the semi-final game when Devonte went “beast mode”. In the semi-finals, Devonte rushed for a 70 yard touchdown while breaking 5 tackles. Another memorable accomplishment for Ballantyne was scoring 13 touchdowns in the season.

Devonte’s success has come in a short time on the gridiron. Ballantyne explained, “I have been playing football for 3 years but by the way I play people think I’ve been playing since I was a little kid “,

Two of Devonte’s football idols are on the Carolina Panthers. Ballantyne looks up to Josh Norman and Cam Newton for various reasons.

Devonte said, “I look up to Cam Newton because I love his confidence and positive attitude on the field and off the field as a leader. I look up to Josh Norman because he is a confident team player on the Panthers and he is one of the best cornerbacks in the league, I am hoping to follow in his footsteps someday”.

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To prepare himself for the OPC, Devonte is going to the weight room daily to try and keep up in size. Also, Ballantyne goes to his school and practices his coverage every day.

In Devonte’s opinion the OPC is a battle against the best, it is where kids can show their talents in tryouts and then prove it in the big game.

Devonte is looking forward to the OPC to play against the best. “I am looking forward to playing against the best and some of the fastest receivers in the game of football. I am hoping to get recognized at the OPC game I want to show the scouts what I can do on the field,” mentioned Ballantyne.

Winning the OPC isn’t everything for Devonte. Devonte mentioned, “My goals for the OPC are to get an interception when it matters I want to be the player who makes big plays on defense”.

“I hope to get recognized by the scouts and I hope to come home with a victory but after the game if we win or lose I will know I was better than yesterday”, concluded Devonte.

 

Advocating for football prospects one story at a time.

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