On Marauders, ‘everyone gives 100%’

McMaster adds three Ontario commits to their 2019 class.

CFC100 Devonte Ballantyne, a defensive back from Catholic Central High School, is ready to return home after signing with the McMaster Marauders.

CFC100 Mike Gray, a defensive end from Huron Heights, and Conor Badeen, a defensive back from Medway High School, will also be joining the Marauders.

CFC100 Devonte Ballantyne

While he currently lives in London, Ontario, Devonte Ballantyne was raised amongst the steel mills. “I decided to commit to McMaster University because they have very strong academics, a great football team and I was raised in Hamilton,” he said.

Courtesy of Devonte Ballantyne.

In grade five, Ballantyne moved away from all that he knew. “It was very difficult to handle, especially since you have to leave all your friends. I’ve always wanted to return to Hamilton since I was young, I just never knew when that was going to be,” he said.

Now, Ballantyne will be making some new friends on the Marauders. “The atmosphere you’re surrounded by is a bunch of guys who want to get better,” he said. “Everyone gives 100% effort and loves the sport of football itself.”

When Ballantyne focused on the coaches, he said they are some of the most experienced coaches out there. “Ptaszek is a coach who knows how to win and work an offence very well. Brady is a coach who focuses on the little things to develop players into a better athlete and you never know what can happen in his playbook,” he said.

“Underhill is a coach that previously coached me at the 2017 Football Canada Cup and has never given up on me since the day we met,” Ballantyne added. “I believe that the coaches are very experienced and are ready to make McMaster a competitor again!”

Thinking beyond football, Ballantyne is interested in sociology. He said he wants to become a police officer. “I believe that something every police officer needs is social skills to be able to talk to witnesses and suspects,” he said.

Standing at 5’11, 190lbs, he has played for the London Jr. Mustangs (OPFL) and the Catholic Central Crusaders (TVRA). He also partook in the Fox 40 Prospect Challenge in grade 10. In his six-year career, he has been a two-time all-Canadian, a two-time London Return all-star and he captured a 2018 WOSSA championship.

With his future school set, Ballantyne said, “I just want to give a quick thank you to all my coaches, teammates, family and friends for believing in me and helping me make the right choice throughout this process.”

CFC100 Mike Gray

Mike Gray, who is 6’5, 215lbs, calls Newmarket, Ontario, home. He played with the Huron Heights Warriors (YRAA) and the York Region Lions (OPFL). He is a former basketball player but made the switch to the gridiron. He is a five-time MVP and a two-time offensive MVP. He is also a former Rookie of the Year recipient and has won two Athlete of the Year awards.

Conor Badeen

Conor Badeen lives near London, Ontario, and spent his high school days with the Medway Cowboys (TVRA). He also spent time with the London Jr. Mustangs (OPFL) as a cornerback and slotback. He is 5’11, 180lbs.

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