Rick Moore, long-standing coach of the Senior Varsity OVFL Oshawa Hawkeyes, knew if his son, Drue, stuck with the sport it was only a matter of time before he would be coaching him on the field.
Not only did 17-year-old Drue stick with the sport, he excelled at it, and this past year was voted team captain and MVP by his 17 to 19-year-old teammates.
Now, Drue is taking what he’s learned over the years from his father and other coaches and setting his sights on something bigger: the CFL. With attention from over 10 different schools across North America, including Simon Fraser, a well-known CFL feeder school, Drue looks to be on the right path to achieving his goal.
“If I go to Simon Fraser I have a chance to play either in either the CFL or the NFL,” said Drue, a 6’2”, 210 lb. middle linebacker. “I would be so happy to end up playing in the CFL, that’s my main goal.”
Simon Fraser, a recent addition to the Division II loop of the NCAA, holds the record for the most players selected in the CFL draft since 1965. Currently ten former SFU players are on CFL rosters.
Drue’s prowess on the field comes from his knowledge of the game, a nod to having a coach as a father who continues to support Drue’s big league goals. This past OVFL season was the first year Rick has officially coached Drue, but the father-son duo have a longstanding relationship built in the game of football.
“Having my dad as my coach kind of puts pressure on me,” said Drue. “I don’t want to fail in front of him. He really pushes me and I love it.”
Rick says the football field is the only place Drue stops calling him “dad.” On the field, Rick is “coach,” and Drue is just another player looking to lead the team to victory.
“He loves being ‘the guy’ that his teammates can go to,” said Rick. “He takes it to heart when he can’t make the play. He never says to me ‘give me the ball’ or ‘let me blitz,’ but his words and the way he acts on the field is ‘follow me, I’ll lead you, let’s go,’ and that’s a valuable trait to have in a player.”
“I just read and react,” said Drue. “It’s an instinct I developed over time. I know that I have to stop them from scoring, so that’s what I do.”
Rick says it wasn’t until Grade 9 that Drue started to come into his own on the field, but it was also that year that Drue vocalized his goals of playing football for a living. Since then, he’s put in the work at the gym necessary to build his weight up as a defensive powerhouse player, but he’s also taken the time to get academic help so he can stay in the university line of curriculum rather than dropping down to an easier college level.
So far, Drue has only made one visit to the University of Waterloo, but has tours planned with the Universities of Guelph and Windsor in December. His impressive stats with the Oshawa senior varsity squad – 37 tackles, 3 sacks and 128 total defensive points – have also drawn the attention of Division I schools from Wisconsin and Central Connecticut.
“He just wants to play whatever level is going to get him noticed at the next level,” said Rick. “If he can get a scholarship to get an education, that’s what he wants to do. But really he wants to play pro football, that’s the final goal, whether it’s in the CFL or the NFL.”
For now, Drue will focus on completing his last year at Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High School with the marks he needs to get the scholarship he dreams of. Rick says Drue is doing everything he can to chase that dream, and the family support system may be just what he needs to get there.
Photo Credit: OVFL Oshawa Hawkeyes