OPC: Team East Varsity QB Stewart driven to excel (VIDEO)

The countdown begins to CanadaFootballChat.com Ontario Prospect Challenge on the May 1st weekend.  In the days leading up to OPC, CFC will preview the teams, coaches and players participating in the big event.

Quinn Stewart is diverse as a gridiron player comes.

“I have a very diverse skill set,” explained Stewart.  “I can execute out of Gun, Pistol, and Under Centre.”

“I can make plays in the pocket and outside of it. I have always prided myself on my hands and my ability to perform crisp handoffs and effective fakes. Also, my diverse skill set ranges to other positions as well. I have had success at multiple positions such as weak and strong side wide receiver and slot back, even linebacker and defensive back.”

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For the 6’0, 203 pound pivot, he has demonstrated his diversity via the teams has suited up for during his career including both the Bel-Air Norsemen and Bell Warriors of the National Capital Amateur Football Association (NCAFA) as well as the Ottawa Myers-Riders of the Ontario Varsity Football League (OVFL).

While he has tried out various positions, Stewart has a soft spot for the pivot position.

“I play quarterback for a multitude of reasons,” elaborated the standout.  “I enjoy being a leader on the team and as a quarterback you get to do this.”

“You must command the respect of your team and lead them through the highs and lows and I believe I thrive at that. You are held accountable by everyone as they depend on you to make the right plays and execute.   It is this pressure quarterbacks face that drives me to play at the quarterback position.”

Moreover, he is passionate about playing quarterback for one particular reason.

“I would have to say the complexity of the position,” explained Stewart.  “Every snap you need to have good feet, good hands, good eyes, and in the end a superb ability to think on the fly both reading and reacting to defenses.”

“All of those aspects get compressed into just a few seconds which is why efficiency and effectiveness are keys. You need to have a complete understanding of offensive and defensive schemes and concepts. I love the challenge of what comes with all of this and that’s why I love the position.”

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On the field, Stewart emulates two of his idols who are NFL star quarterbacks.

“The quarterback I look up to most is Tom Brady (New England Patriots),” expressed the pivot.  “His ability to dissect defenses with his arm is mesmerizing.”

“If I were to pick one quarterback that I model my game after, it would have to be closer to a style of quarterback like Andrew Luck (Indianapolis Colts).  One who is a good drop back quarterback but can still get out of the pocket and make plays with his legs if he must.”

Throughout his gridiron career, Stewart has enjoyed many memorable moments. However, the highlight of his career entails achieving a key goal.

“As an athlete in any sport you train all off-season, practice all season, and grind through all of the games for that one goal – a championship,” reflects Stewart.  “This leads me to say that my best moment would have to be my first championship in my mind.”

“There was no feeling like it. It is that one moment where you are number 1.  No one can take that away from you and it’s the perfect reward for a long grueling season of hard work, time and sweat.”

On May 2nd in Ottawa, Stewart will etch another momentous moment in this career as he will participate in the Ontario Prospect Challenge (OPC) as a member of Team East’s Varsity squad. Overall, he is grateful for the chance to take part in a unique, special event.

“You only get so many opportunities as great as OPC to play with some of the most gifted players Ontario has to offer,” added the Team East pivot.  “It would be a huge mistake to pass something like that up.”

“This is the kind of event that I have been training for.  It’s somewhere I can showcase the skills I have acquired from all of the practices, games, camps and combines I have participated in. I also thought that it would be a great opportunity to receive some high-calibre coaching and measure myself against some other elite quarterbacks.  I want to see where I can improve and what else I can do to put myself in a better position to succeed.”

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Additionally, Stewart has seized the opportunity to learn from the coaching staff as it has provided him an avenue to flourish into a better player.

“It has truly been a great experience,” said the quarterback.  “I have had many different coaches in my life each one bringing different ideas and styles of play.”

“It is always interesting to see their take on how to perform certain parts of the game. This holds true with the high level of coaching I have received at OPC.  They have brought many things to the table that I will most definitely add to my arsenal.”

The entire OPC process for Stewart has been a rewarding one.

“It has been a great experience and a huge challenge being evaluated by such high level coaching and competing against such high level talent has been a valuable experience,” elaborated Stewart.  “It has been nice having to compete at such a high level.”

“I believe it has definitely helped me raise my level of play. Also, it has been nice to get to know the guys as well. A highlight for me would have to be hearing any constructive criticism that I have received from the coaches. I love learning the game, new techniques and where I can improve and this has been an ideal place for all of that.   With our weekend of practices and eventually as the OPC game approaches, I’m sure the fun is only starting and I’m thoroughly looking forward to getting to show what I can do.”

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As OPC will be one of the bigger stages that Stewart has played on, he is confident that he will handle the pressure well by taking the necessary steps to ensure he will be ready come game day.

“For me the key to handling stress during games especially big ones is twofold,” explained the Team East quarterback.  “I have played football for 10 years but there is nothing like getting my first snap and my first completion out of the way.”

“After both these events, my stress virtually disappears.  These two steps in every game let me settle in so I can focus on competing and commanding the offense.  My main preparation for this game has come from training at Pat Woodcock and Donnie Ruiz’s Elite Performance Academy (EPA) five times a week both in the gym and on the field getting coaching from Carleton University’s Josh Sacobie. Also, I have attended multiple camps in the lead up to OPC.”

Ultimately, Stewart is ecstatic for the chance to compete with and against new faces on both Team East and opponents Team Central.

“I have little experience playing with any of the players competing so it will certainly be exciting to play with all of them and see throughout the process all of their skills and playing styles,” added the Team East pivot.  “As quarterback, I have spent more time with our team’s receiver group.”

“I think we definitely have some real explosive playmakers who I’m quite excited to work with.  It will also be exciting to play against the players from other regions of Ontario that I have never played against and see what North, South and Western Ontario has to offer. “

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For his part, Stewart hopes to achieve some significant objectives while competing in the event, being held at TD Place.

“My goal for the OPC is the same as my goal for every football event,” offered the Team East standout.  “Impress, execute as well as I know I can, make smart reads and decisions, and to make plays.”

“If I get out of the pocket, I hope to show that I am agile, alert and will do everything I can to make a play.  I want to show everyone how strong I am fundamentally with my good footwork, quick accurate release, command of the offense, patience, vision, competitiveness, and my drive to win.  I hope this will introduce my skillset and leadership qualities for football programs at the next level.  I look forward to the challenge.”

With the OPC as one of those avenues to impress recruiters and scouts, Stewart comes into the event with a lot of recruitment interest.  Set to enter a post-secondary institution in 2016, the Ontario quarterback has already engaged with multiple schools including Queen’s, Concordia, Ottawa, Guelph, York, Toronto and McMaster.

“I am willing to travel to pursue my football career as far as it will take me,” commented Stewart of his recruitment process.  “At this stage, I want to keep all of my options open.”
“I have good contacts now with most of the OUA schools and I am interested in learning more about the AUS conference schools, Bishops and Concordia. I have some time to assess my options and decide what school will be the best fit for the fall of 2016.  Until then, I’ll keep working hard to get bigger, faster, stronger and better.”

Not only has he considered his gridiron future, but also his academic and career ambitions. He is interested in pursuing business, marketing, communications or international studies.

“Sports are a huge part of my life so incorporating sports would be a dream come true,” added the Team East standout.

In the interim, Stewart is hopeful that events and games such as OPC will bring him one step closer to realizing his ultimate goal as a quarterback.

“I think what the main thing I want to achieve is to have solid execution,” explained Stewart.  “To always have proper crisp footwork, to sell all my fakes and rollouts, and of course delivering the ball right where it needs to be when it needs to be there.”

“To take the scheme the coaches have inserted and execute it the best I possibly can every single play.”

(twitter: http://twitter.com/vohra_ameeta)

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  1. Pingback: 2015 OPC: Schedule, Previews, Scores and more… | CanadaFootballChat.com

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