Kingston high school football star Zachary Dodge says his decision to play for the Queen’s Gaels was an easy one to make.
The 17-year-old offensive lineman for the Regiopolis-Notre Dame Panthers officially committed to the university on Wednesday afternoon.
“It’s such a surreal moment,” said Dodge, who graduates this June.
The Seeley’s Bay native called it a dream come true.
“I grew up watching the Gaels and can’t wait to start working out with the team this summer in preparation for the season ahead. Queen’s made me feel like I was needed,” he said.
“I know I have to bide my time, but coach Steve Snyder says with hard work I could be a starter in the near future. I had some other schools interested in me but staying at home and playing for the Gaels was always my first option.”
Queen’s offensive line coach Matt Nesbitt was on hand for today’s signing, saying he looks forward to working with Dodge in the years ahead.
“He’s everything we look for in a new recruit,” said Nesbitt, an offensive lineman himself.
Nesbitt was a captain for the Guelph Gryphons when they captured the Yates Cup, Ontario University championship in 2015.
“Zach has such a passion for football,” Nesbitt said.
“He’s been well-coached over the years with Regiopolis and the Kingston Gaels in the Ontario Junior Football League. I look forward in getting him settled in the weight room and build on the strength he already has. I know he will take advantage of every resource that Queen’s has to offer to make him a better player and student. We’re so excited to have him come on board.”
Dodge is 6’2″ tall and weighs 280 pounds. He says when it comes to football, there’s no better feeling than protecting the quarterback and creating holes for the backfield runners.
“I love being in the trenches,” said Dodge, who played for Team Ontario at the Canadian Junior championships last July in Kingston.
“Digging in against an opponent is such a great feeling. It’s what I crave. I look forward to the day I get to perform on the field at Richardson Stadium.”