McMaster gets offensive

McMaster adds one local commit, two Ontario commits and one Québec commit to their Class of 2018.

The McMaster Marauders offense has gotten a little extra boost from the likes of offensive linemen Paul Battilana from Cardinal Newman High School and Ludovick Lacasse from Cégep de Saint-Hyacinthe, receiver Ryan More from A.B. Lucas Secondary School and quarterback Drew Freake from Holy Cross Catholic High School.

Paul Battilana

Paul Battilana has a connection to the Marauders that stems deeper than it being his hometown team. His father is an ex-Marauder player. Originally from Hamilton, Ontario, he said he also chose McMaster because he could stay close to family and friends.

“Mac also has a great coaching staff and support staff. They are a great team and I am excited to be apart of it,” he added. “I am excited to learn from the coaches. I know they will make me a better player.”

Battilana spent two years with the Hamilton Ironmen (OVFL) and one with the Hamilton Varsity Tiger-Cats (OPFL). While he spent three years with the Bishop Ryan Celtics (Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic Athletic Association), he transferred to Cardinal Newman Cardinals (HWCAA) for grade 12 and 13. In 2014, he was the Celtics’ junior lineman of the year. The next year, he was the JV Ironmen’s offensive lineman MVP. He is a 2016 OVFL all-star. Last season, he and the Cardinals won the Golden Horseshoe Athletic Conference championship. He was also a captain on the team.

The 6’1, 270lbs centre is interested in taking Humanities.

Ludovick Lacasse

At a hulking 6’1, 300lbs, Ludovick Lacasse will be bringing his size to the Marauders after leaving his hometown of Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec. “I chose McMaster because the campus is amazing. There’s a spot in the depth chart for me and that I feel like I’m at home there. I will (also) be with one of my teammates at Saint-Hyacinthe, Émile Grenier,” he said.

“I think that the staff in this university is there for the good reason, winning. I fit perfectly with that mentality,” he added.

In his career, the potential business student spent the last two years with Les Lauréats du Cégep de Saint-Hyacinthe (RSEQ Division 1). Before that, he played two years with Les Voltigeurs du Cégep de Drummondville (RSEQ Division 3). Last year, he was offensive lineman of the year. He also captured a Division 3 Bol d’Or with Les Lauréats. In 2013, he won a high school championship where the team was awarded the Jack Simpson trophy.

Ryan More

Set to leave his hometown of London, Ontario, Ryan More is ready for what Hamilton, Ontario, has to offer. “Mac is a top school both academically and at football. The coaches and I share the same goals for football and academics as well,” the potential business student said. “I felt comfortable about spending the next couple years of my life there.”

He added that, “Mac obviously has some of the best coaches in the country. They were very helpful throughout the recruitment process and I look forward to playing under them.”

More spent his entire high school career with the A.B. Lucas Vikings (Thames Valley Regional Athletics). In 2015, his team won the TVRA championship. The following season, he was named as the offensive MVP.

Drew Freake

Having spent his entire career in Kingston, Ontario, Drew Freake felt it was time to stretch his wings. “It has always been a dream of mine to play football in the OUA and at McMaster because they were my favourite university team growing up,” he said. “I am excited to work with Coach Flaxman and Coach Quinlan because I grew up watching Coach Quinlan play football at McMaster and (he) has been a role model ever since.”

Freake added that he was very impressed with the coaching staff and their approach to “getting athletes prepared not only to be great football players, but also prepared for life after football. I thought Head Coach Knox was very professional and cares about his players both athletically and academically.”

On top of making a dream come true, Freake said he chose McMaster “because of the gorgeous campus, the academic prestige and the athletic facilities. It appealed to me because of the size of the campus, which makes everything within a five to ten-minute walk.”

For six years, Freake, who is 6’0, 195lbs, represented the Kingston Grenadiers (OPFL). He also spent five years with the Holy Cross Crusaders (Kingston Area Secondary School Athletic Association). He is a three-time KASSAA champion in 2013, 2014 and 2017. He also won the coaches award in 2014. This past season, he was named as the final’s MVP.

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