CanadaFootballChat.com’s Ameeta Vohra has written an extensive article filled with feedback from members of Canada’s U19 World Championship team. Vohra shares reflections on the tournament from Guelph’s John Rush and A’dre Fraser among nine other players and coaches. Here are the Rush and Fraser portions:
Team Canada wide receiver A’dre Fraser had a 45 yard reception in the gold medal championship game. Moreover, the Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia native blocked a punt, which tournament MVP Kevin McGee scooped up for a four yard touchdown in the team’s victory over Sweden.
“The experience of playing at a national level with such great competitors was insane and I think really an eye opener for everyone around the world,” adds the former offensive dynamo of the Citadel Phoenix of the NSSAFFL, who will play for the Guelph Gryphons in the fall. “It meant so much to me and I’m sure to every other player on our team to win the gold medal.”
“We all knew we could do it; we just had to make everyone else believe us as well.”
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Port Robinson, Ontario linebacker John Rush had a stellar tournament and also selected to the All-Tournament team. Not only was the linebacker ranked third in tackles (14.5), but Rush was also MVP of the semi-final game against Japan.
For Rush, there is an indescribable feeling about being a part of history.
“Being a part of the team that made history in this year’s under-19 World Championships is truly one of the most amazing feelings ever and knowing that this group as a whole will go down in history as the first team to beat the United States to win the gold medal is the most fulfilling feeling I have ever experienced,” expresses the Ontario linebacker. “It’s a feeling that no one will ever be able to take away from us, a sort of eternal glory that will be with us for the rest of our lives and as a person being a part of the team that made history is truly a feeling that I cannot even begin to explain.”
“The fact that I will always be able to look back upon that day and feel that feeling again is amazing.”
What made the experience special for Rush was the how the team came together in Austin, Texas under extreme weather conditions.
“This whole experience was exciting; 18 days in Texas flew by,” adds Rush. “The training camp in 104 degree weather was intense, but it was really where our team came together.”
“This was extremely exciting to see when we realized our potential and that we could do this.”
The point at which the team realized their talent was the very first game they played of the tournament.
“Our first game against Sweden was anxiety filled but also exciting, finally showing the world what we were made of,” assesses the Ontario linebacker. “The game against Sweden is where our team really broke out of its shell and proved as to why we were one of the elite teams in the world.”
Moreover, the one highlight of the tournament for Rush was the championship game as it gave him a sense of patriotism in representing his homeland.
“The highlight of the tournament for me was proving to the world that Canada can compete with the United States and overcome them to win the gold,” explains Rush. “It was one of the most thrilling games I have ever played in and I am sure I will never have a feeling like that again.”
“Representing my country in the world championships was the most exciting, amazing, nerve-racking, fun, joy filled, experiences of my life, and I am truly grateful to be a part of something this great.”