Ballenas Whalers Will Dubesky (67) disrupts the play of the Argyle Pipers quarterback during their BC High School Football game last season. Dubesky has signed a letter of intent to play for the University of Toronto. (Michael Briones photos)

Ballenas Whalers Will Dubesky (67) disrupts the play of the Argyle Pipers quarterback during their BC High School Football game last season. Dubesky has signed a letter of intent to play for the University of Toronto. (Michael Briones photos)

Ballenas Whalers football star Dubesky to play for University of Toronto next season

Top lineman is excited to play at the next level

Will Dubesky has been a pillar of strength in defence for the Ballenas Whalers football team.

The 6-foot-2, 250-pound defensive and offensive lineman has been key in the success of the Whalers in the BC Secondary Schools Football Association. And his work ethic on the field have not gone unnoticed.

The Grade 12 student has just been recruited by the University of Toronto. He recently signed a letter of intent to play for the Varsity Blues beginning in the 2023 in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport.

“This is what I have been working towards for 10 years,” said Dubesky, who last season ranked in the top five in defence in the league with 38 tackles and four sacks in seven games. “It’s kind of surreal. I don’t think it’s really clicked yet but I finally made it with a scholarship. It’s fantastic. It’s probably one of the greatest achievements I have gotten in life so far.”

Dubesky started playing football with the community club, the Oceanside Lions, when he was just seven years old. When he entered high school he joined the Ballenas varsity football team. He was named as an offensive tackle to the 2021 B.C. High School AA All-Star team and played in the 2021 BC Subway Bowl Senior Varsity All-Star Game. It was during this game that he was approached by the defensive coach of the Varsity Blues.

Whalers former head coach Dan Smith, who had the opportunity to work with Dubesky, said they’re proud to see one of their graduating players join one of the premier university football programs in the county.

“Will’s strongest attribute is his passion for the game,” said Smith. “He is prepared to do whatever it takes to become a better player. He is a team-first guy. Every year he was with us he he improved on both offence and defence.”

Another former Whalers head coach, Jeremy Conn, called Dubesky the “epitome of a class act” and added that University of Toronto is lucky to have him.

“He is the type of player every coach loves to coach and trusts to lead the team,” said Conn. “He’s talented and big and strong but more importantly he backs it up with a great work ethic and enthusiasm that is truly contagious. He’s the first guy in the weight room. He’s the last guy to leave the field as he’s helping clean up. The consummate team player. Always gives 100 per cent. Can’t keep him off the field. He will play through injuries that knock most kids out for weeks.”

READ MORE: Ballenas Whalers’ top lineman to play for school in Massachusetts

Reaching this milestone, Dubesky said, was a goal he endeavoured to achieve. He said overcoming the many adversities and challenges along the way, and simply dedicating himself to be the best player he can become is a recipe for success.

“If you have fun doing it and enjoy doing it you just have to keep it up,” said Dubesky. “Some days it’s going to be awful and some days it’s going to make you feel like you really want to quit. I had those days. I was really close to doing that because I had bad experiences in the past. But if you have a certain level of dedication to the sport and you stick with it, good things will come. I am getting a large amount of my education paid for. It’s fantastic.”

Football, Dubesky said, is his calling. He had tried other sports but found football more to his liking.

“I got penalties in soccer because I was too physical,” said Dubesky. “Taekwondo didn’t really do it for me, or volleyball, baseball. None of them are really physical sports. Football is one of the sports where I can really prove myself. I like the position I play in football. I couldn’t imagine anything else. I wouldn’t just want to catch the ball. I wouldn’t want to run the ball. As fun as that would be I really enjoyed the contact part of it.”

Dubesky is looking forward to donning the Varsity Blues jersey next year. While is anxious to play football, he also looks forward to gaining a degree in criminology and psychology.

“I hope to get into law enforcement,” said Dubesky.

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

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