Fox 40 Prospect Challenge (Central): Priestner hoping to continue the purple legacy

James Priestner comes from a line of football legends, but has only played three years of tackle football.

He has played with the bantam Burlington Stampeders in the Ontario Football Conference (OFC) and in the Halton Secondary School Athletic Association (HSSAA) with the Nelson Lords junior team.

Last season with Nelson, James got 7 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, and was a Metro Bowl finalist and will be participating in this year’s Fox 40 Prospect Challenge.

Both his father and uncle played at Nelson, and his coaches remind him daily that the Priestner name is a tough one to live up to.

The coaches also “shake their heads that there is a Priestner out there with an eligible jersey number and ‘hands,” added James, who’s mom, say they come from her.

Moreover, James also plays AAA hockey with the Burlington Eagles, as well as school basketball, making him pretty busy as he tries to balance it with homework.

His biggest influences are his dad and uncle, who have a football history of their own. His uncle, John Priestner, was the first Canadian to be drafted out of his sophomore year to the NFL. John was a linebacker who won two Vanier Cups with Western in 1976 and 1977. He then played a season with the Baltimore Colts before being sidelined with an injury. After recovery, he played for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats from 1980 to 1986. James’ dad, Paul Priestner, also played at Western as a defensive end, and also won a Vanier Cup 1994.

“You could say my blood likely runs purple and despite dreaming a little of playing for a D1 school,” said James, “I certainly feel if I work hard enough I could make my dream of wearing the Mustang jersey a reality and helping my team win a Vanier Cup would be the ultimate prize.”

James Priestner
Positions: Wide receiver, tight end, slotback, defensive back
Height/Weight: 5’11”, 160lbs
Teams: Nelson Lords (HSSAA) and Burlington Stampeders (OFC)
Considerations: Western, NCAA D1
Class: 2020


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