East-West Bowl was Unforgettable
At five feet, ten inches, Josh Blanchard isn’t your conventional wide receiver. On the Mount Allison football team, Blanchard comes in tied for shortest on the 2012 depth chart for the receiving corps.
Not once did that stop him en route to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) East-West bowl for his 2012 performance. The senior was hurt for most of 2012, but still managed his best game of the year in a 29-16 victory over the Saint Francis Xavier University X-Men last October. He recorded two receptions for fifty-three yards and his only touchdown of that year.
The Oromocto native is now in his fourth year at Mt. A. In an interview with The Argosy, Josh was asked about the experience of playing in the East-West Bowl. “The East-West bowl experience this past May was something I’ll remember for the rest of my life. I learned so much that week from the coaches, and being able to compete against some of the best players in Canada was really cool.”
Blanchard wasn’t the only Mountie who was sent to London, Ontario to represent the East. Mounties Coach Kelly Jeffrey, running back Jordan Botel, defensive lineman Quinn Everett and fellow receiver/punter Kyle McLean accompanied Blanchard in the game. These prominent Mounties were just a few of over eighty of the top football players in the CIS who are draft eligible for the 2014 Canadian Football League draft.
Blanchard said “Sharing that experience with Kyle, Quinn, and Jordan was fun too. They are all great football players and did very well all week. Having Coach Jeffrey there made things a lot easier. He was very helpful to all of us with what we needed to do to prepare ourselves for the week and with any advantages we could use against our opponents.”
Blanchard, who was targeted three times in the game, was unable to record a catch, but the experience to play at that level was invaluable to the senior. “The event was very well organized and I couldn’t be happier for the opportunity.”
When asked about his favourite memory playing football, Blanchard cited being bribed by his parents to score a touchdown at age seven. “[If I scored] they would get me a new pack of Pokémon cards. That’s all I could think about. The very first time I touched the ball, I fumbled it on the one yard line.”
Blanchard compares his game to National Football League stars Victor Cruz and Austin Collie. Both receivers are nearly identical in size, and are known as ‘go-to’ receivers. Blanchard played a vital role in the 2011 and 2012 Atlantic University Sport (AUS) seasons and has been a top target for Mounties quarterback Jake Hotchkiss and current quarterback Brandon Leyh.
Blanchard looks to return to an elite level as the Mounties return to action in 2013. The Mounties will look to repeat their 2012 performance, and with a healthy receiving corps that includes Blanchard, the sky is the limit for the squad.