Fellowes Falcons's Quinton Hodgson signs football scholarship with St. Francis Xavier University
Submitted photo: Quinton Hodgson of Fellowes High School signs his scholarship to play football at Saint Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Looking on is his high school football coach, PJ Weller.
Quinton Hodgson is a punishing football player. He loves dishing out a big hit and through his four years of playing with the Fellowes Falcons he has earned a reputation for being one of the hardest hitters in the Lanark-Renfrew High School Football League.
Hodgson has been playing the sport since he was 12 years old when he first donned shoulder pads and a helmet in Oromocto, N.B. When his family moved to Pembroke, he was excited for the opportunity to play at the high school level and now after four years of wearing the black and gold jersey of the Falcons, his tenacity on the field and raw talent have earned him a football scholarship. In the fall, Hodgson will suit up with the Saint Francis Xavier X-Men in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) league.
Hodgson will be studying Human Kinetics at St. FX, but it’s the opportunity to play football at the collegiate level that has him really excited. He has a passion for the sport and can’t wait to get on the field to practice with one of the top university football teams in the country.
“I love the sound of football. Nothing makes me want to get on the field more than the sound of pads cracking off the snap or on a good tackle,” he said.
It’s that enthusiasm that made Hodgson one of the top players on his high school football team. He broke into the varsity squad in Grade 9, earning rookie of the year honours. In Grade 11 and 12 he was the Falcons’s most valuable player, playing on both sides of the line of scrimmage. While he excelled at playing defence, in his senior year he also took his turn at playing running back scoring a key touchdown in the Falcon’s lone win last season.
The high school football season is short so Hodgson signed up to play in the Ottawa Valley Football League, a community-based development league in Ottawa that helps players who want to play football at a higher level. In 2016, while playing defensive end with the Myers Riders, he won a provincial championship. The Riders went undefeated with a 14-0 record and defeated the London Mustangs in the final.
That was a big thrill for Hodgson who says he loves to prove himself against some of the top players in the province. He’s quickly become a top prospect, benefiting from the exposure he has had to some great coaching that has supported his development as a football player, such as last year when he played with the Ottawa Sooners Junior squad. The club won 13 consecutive games before losing in the Ontario championship.
This summer, Hodgson plans to play again with the Sooners as he continues to improve his play in anticipation of trying to crack the lineup with the X-Men, where he expects to play special teams. The X-Men also think he has the potential to be an excellent linebacker.
Having an opportunity to play linebacker would be fine with Hodgson. He really liked playing outside linebacker when he had the chance in high school and thinks it suits him well.
“At outside linebacker you are involved in every single play, whether it’s a pass or a run.,” he explained. “I’m certainly not going to be the biggest player on the field, so I will continue to use my speed as an advantage.”
Hodgson still has a lot of work to do before leaving for the east coast and taking the field at St. FX. At the end of April he will be competing in the FOX 40 Prospect Challenge in Kingston, a series of elite showcase games featuring the best 12 to 19-year-old tackle football players in the country. He recently played in an all-star game where he was named defensive MVP.
Fellowes High School reintroduced a football program six years ago after a lengthy hiatus from the sport. Hodgson is the first Falcons player to earn a scholarship to play the sport at the university level. He’ll be a big loss when the Falcons begin the season in September, but his signing with St. FX will also provide inspiration to future players who are pursuing an athletic scholarship to attend university.