Marauders restock with 33 recruits in 2015 (including #CFC100)

Written by Fraser Caldwell

A suffocating defensive backfield has been a staple of the McMaster football team for several years, and in 2015, reloading that unit is a recruiting focus. The Marauders welcome 33 new additions to the McMaster football family this coming season, eight of whom will vie for spots in the reformed backfield.

With the departure through graduation of OUA All-Stars Joey Cupido, Steven Ventresca and Scott Martin, as well as veterans Allan Dicks, Andrew Surya and Zach Ismael, McMaster’s backfield will look radically different this fall. Open roster spots mean opportunity, and the eight new additions — the largest crop of recruits in a single area this season — will have a chance to earn immediate playing time.

The new backfield arrivals include two BC products in Vancouver’s Lucas Bill and Kelowna’s Robbie Yochim, as well as Mitch Weiler (Cambridge, ON), Riley Pilkey (Cambridge, ON), Devin Claypole (Peterborough, ON), Adam Poole (Brampton, ON), #CFC100 Justin Lyons (Burlington, ON) and Eric Blake (Hamilton, ON).

“This class is a great combination of local talent and some of the best players from across the province and country, ” said Marauder head coach Stefan Ptaszek. “We are especially excited about the young defensive backs that have chosen to study at McMaster.

“Losing names like Cupido, Ventresca, Dicks, Ismael and Surya is concerning. Fortunately, Assistant Defensive Coordinator and Defensive Backs Coach Mark Forsyth will be working with the best defensive back recruiting class we have had in several years.”

McMaster 2015 2

Shoring up the depth of the front seven, the Marauders welcome five new members of the defensive line and six linebackers, including Andrew Pacheco of nearby Westdale High School.

Offensively, McMaster adds four names to a stacked depth chart of receivers, including Billy Olds from Hamilton’s St. Thomas More. Meanwhile, two local running backs, Sherwood’s Nic Boonstra and Burlington’s Jordan Lyons, join a strong returning cast at the position.

Restocking the depth chart under centre behind returning veterans Asher Hastings and Darius Lameire, McMaster adds three quarterbacks to the fold, Anthony Bontorin (Windsor, ON), Dylan Astrom (Peterborough, ON) and Blair Robertson (Welland, ON). Tasked with protecting those QBs, a large returning group along the offensive line will be bolstered by five additions in 2015.

Ptaszek credited another strong and comprehensive Marauder recruiting class to the continued work of Recruiting Coordinator and Linebackers Coach Frank Gesztesi.

“Frank’s passion for McMaster and 20-year commitment to our program is at the core of these young men selecting to come to McMaster,” said Ptaszek. “Once again, he has done an outstanding job of educating these young men on all that McMaster has to offer.”

The new additions to the Marauder lineup will have their first opportunity to play alongside and mesh with their more experienced counterparts when McMaster opens training camp in August. The Marauders open the 2015 OUA season on August 30, when they travel to Toronto to take on the Varsity Blues.

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