Mac welcomes two GTA commits

Two more local recruits have committed to McMaster in September.

It’s tough leaving home for university, but for running back Justice Allin of Etobicoke Collegiate Institute and wide receiver Jakob Durka of Cathedral High School, committing to the McMaster Marauders makes the move a little easier.

Allin is coming from Etobicoke, having played with the Etobicoke Collegiate Institute Rams (Toronto District Secondary School Athletics Association) and the Etobicoke Eagles (Ontario Varsity Football League) during his young career. Standing at 5’8, 170lbs, the running back has only been playing football since grade nine.

“I choose Mac because it was the school where I felt I best fit and could contribute early on,” Allin said. “I was comfortable with the campus and the facilities and it had a sense of home to it.”

Allin, who is currently looking into the school’s sociology program, added that the university’s proximity to his home in Etobicoke and the Marauders’ coaching staff were among the reasons why he committed to the team.

“The coaching staff at McMaster is everything any football player could ask for. With coaches like Greg Knox, John Behie, Coach Frank, Coach Stu and Coach Underhill, I know I have put myself in a position to be very successful,” Allin said.

“The coaching staff at Mac really cares about its student athletes. They have almost become like a second family to me,” he added. Family is an important factor for the young football player. He and his younger sister were raised by their single mother.

While he won’t be joining the Marauders until 2017, Allin has had the chance to see McMaster in action. “This year they are looking stronger than they have every been. With last years recruiting class they are going to be a strong team for many years,” he said, offering a few insights on his team-to-be.

With McMaster’s depth, Allin may have to wait a bit to make starting position. The two-time OVFL all-star (2014 and 2016) won’t mind the challenge though, having overcome greater obstacles in his young life. In his second ever football game, he broke his ankle in five places. He now has a metal plate and eight screws in his left ankle.

That didn’t slow him down, however, and when he started back up in football, he proved himself to be a dangerous opponent. In 2014, he had the most carries in the OVFL with 198, which aided in him winning the OVFL JV Division Running Back MVP for that year. The following year, Allin helped the Rams win the Toronto District School Board City Championships.

Jakob Durka stretches out for the ball. By Gerry Graham.

Jakob Durka stretches out for the ball. By Gerry Graham.

Durka has even less distance to travel than Allin as he already calls Hamilton his home. The wide receiver, who also plays defensive back, was part of the graduating class of 2016, although he took an extra year with the Cathedral Gaels Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic Athletic Association). He was a former member Hamilton Ironmen varsity team (Ontario Varsity Football League). He stands at 6’0, 168lbs and will be joining the Marauders after signing his letter of intent on September 26.

“I chose to commit to Mac because I feel their athletics combined with their education is second to none in Canada. Also, it allows my friends and family to come out to the games and show support. I really like the family feel that Mac has and from my first visit I knew it was a place I could see myself going,” Durka said of McMaster’s atmosphere.

“I think no matter what year, Mac always has a chance to go all the way and their coaches are outstanding so I expect them to be a competitive team every year. The coaches are very knowledgeable. They are all very welcoming and I can’t wait to learn from them,” the young wide receiver added. Along with learning football, he is also looking into either kinesiology or business.

Durka has been playing football since grade four, having his career span over eight years. During that time, he was MVP for the Gaels twice, once as a junior in 2014 and once as a senior in 2015-2016. In grade ten, he traveled to Saskatchewan with Team Ontario and Coach Barry Hutton and won the flag football nationals.



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