Lancers commit ‘a true example of football hard work’

Lancers add an AFLer to their team.

Wherever receiver Thomas MacKenzie from the Holland College Hurricanes (AFL) goes, he will never be alone, especially when he reaches the Windsor Lancers.

Throughout his football career and beyond, MacKenzie, or “Tmac” as teammates and coaches affectionately know him by, has always had a strong network of support. “I want to take a second and thank my mom for never giving up on me,” he said, “and my coaches and close friends. They mean the world to me and I wouldn’t have been given this opportunity without the support.”

At a young age, tragedy struck the MacKenzie household. Thomas and his two sisters lost their father. “He proudly wears a tattoo in memory of his dad, which we believe carries a special bond of strength from his dad that Thomas draws from daily in his work ethic,” said Ross Young, the Hurricanes head coach.

“Thomas comes from great people and his family and community are very proud of him. He is a grounded guy who has never forgotten his roots. In this spring, Thomas can be found fishing lobster on the shores of PEI, balancing his work and his football training,” Young added. MacKenzie is from Fortune, PEI, a small village on the Atlantic coast.

Courtesy of Thomas MacKenzie.

In 2015, MacKenzie began his AFL career with the Hurricanes. He spent three seasons with the team. In his first year there, the team captured a Moosehead Cup. Last season, he was the team’s offensive player of the year. Before that, he played with the Souris Wildcats where he spent three years on the bantam squad and two on the senior team. In 2014, he helped the Wildcats win a Potato Bowl.

Young has been following MacKenzie’s career since his minor days. “Thomas was an outstanding athlete. At a young age he had speed, size and the willingness to learn. Tmac took reps as a receiver, defensive back and quarterback,” Young said. “At 6’4, 235lbs, he is an imposing inside receiver and is tough to cover with his size and strength. He is also an excellent run blocker and was invaluable in the ground and passing game of the Hurricanes.”

In his first season with the Hurricanes, MacKenzie was also the backup quarterback. In his second season, he was called in to start as a quarterback for the team. Young said that he preformed very well and helped lead the Hurricanes through a tough season to reach the AFL championship. In his final year, he reverted back to the receiver position and once again found success.

“He is a true example of football hard work, commitment and perseverance,” Young said. “His dedication and passion to this sport and Hurricanes football has been admirable.”

After leaving his mark on the Hurricanes, MacKenzie is looking to have an impact on the Lancers. “I believe strongly that the University of Windsor is a school on the rise and I am excited to be apart of a great organization,” he said.

“The coaches that I was introduced to during my trip to Windsor were all very welcoming and professional,” he added. “It’s easy to tell that they are excited about their football program and their facilities are incredible!”

Before heading to university, MacKenzie studied sport and leisure at Holland College. His main reason for choosing Windsor was because of the academics. He will be taking human kinetics.

“Tmac’s work ethic on the field and in the gym is second to none,” Young said. “He leads by example in season at practice and games and leads the off-season strength and conditioning program for the Hurricanes…we are extremely proud of Thomas and wish him the best as a Lancer.”

Young added that, “Windsor football will do well by Thomas. We look forward to following his development…Hurricanes football wishes great things to come for Tmac. Fear the storm.”

Advocating for football prospects one story at a time.

Leave a Reply