There’s chill, and then there’s Mason Swift.
The could-have-been, probably should-have-been all-star running back for the Mount Douglas Rams football team was taking it pretty easy while many football fans were glued to the Grey Cup a little over a week ago.
In fact, he was having a nap.
And so he should have.
The Grade 11 student was recovering from the Rams’ 54-7 upset of the province’s top-ranked St. Thomas More Knights (Burnaby) in their AAA semifinal at the University of B.C., and was resting for the championship final against W.J. Mouat last weekend, which they won 42-35 (the first AAA title for Mount Doug).
With provincial MVP Terrell Davis at the centre of the Rams’ hype – all of it deserved – many may not realize Swift has been virtually step for step with Davis, splitting the rushing duties. Swift and Davis (Grade 12) often line up on either side of quarterback Jordan Deverill. The running backs shared 31 carries in the Rams’ quarter-final playoff win over Lord Tweedsmuir with Swift taking the ball 15 times for 153 yards, and Davis 16 times for 160 yards.
In the semifinal win on Nov. 26 they split 28 carries with Swift totalling 75 yards and two touchdowns while Davis rushed for 163 yards and three touchdowns.
“Both Davis and Swift are powerful backs who like to run over defenders … they are very similar in that respect,” coach Mark Townsend said.
As a defender trying to stop either, there is no lesser evil to choose from. Both are adept at keeping their legs driving on contact, often breaking tackles and carrying defenders for additional yards.
What Townsend also loves is how unselfish their play is without the ball, “blocking their tails off for one another.”
But back to that nap.
It’s all part of the plan to stay real, Swift says.
“We’re pretty high coming off beating (the Knights) as badly as we did and we need to keep down to earth, stay mellow to get the win over Mouat.”
Then again, Swift deserves his rest after putting in a two-sided effort as a linebacker, scoring one of his touchdowns in the semifinal after scooping up a punt blocked by the Rams’ Nik Larsen.
Whatever the reason, Swift wasn’t about to let the Grey Cup interrupt his routine.
“For me, playing football is a way to get the second level of education paid for. I’ve had a couple of looks from universities in Canada, but I’m still waiting for those looks from down south,” he said, adding a spot in Canadian university football would do just fine.
Now, being an integral part in bringing home the B.C. provincial championship, those looks should come a little easier.
After a close first quarter in the semifinal, the Rams began to pull ahead of the heavily favoured Knights, who had been named the sixth best high school team in Canada last week according to website Canada Football Chat. Mount Doug was listed as the 16th, but moved to sixth last week.