Two of Laurier’s own Golden Hawks have been drafted to the Canadian Football League (CFL) by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Offensive lineman Adam Bestard and fullback Peter Quinney are heading west in less than three weeks to begin training with their new team.
“It’s going to be a really good experience … [the CFL] has a tremendous history and I’m very excited about the opportunity,” said 2008-09 team co-captain Quinney. “Since I started playing football this has always been an aspiration.”
Bestard echoed Quinney’s sentiments, saying, “I’m very excited to get going and start playing.”
Both players are in their fourth year at Laurier.
History major Bestard was chosen in the 4th round and 27th overall. Quinney, a kinesiology major who totalled 201 yards rushing and 506 yards receiving last season, went shortly after in the 5th round and 35th overall.
Bestard recalls draft day when both Hawks were at Quinney’s house, waiting to see where Quinney would be drafted to, after Bestard had already been selected.
“Then all of a sudden the whole place started yelling – he got picked to go with me,” said Bestard.
Quinney notes how fortunate he considers himself to be, especially because “there are a lot of guys good enough to go to the pros that don’t.”
Bestard shared similar feelings. His father was also a varsity football player at Laurier, his mother played varsity volleyball and his older sister is currently on a soccer scholarship in the United States.
“Sports have always been number one in my family,” said the Sarnia native.
Bestard was offered a scholarship to the US for golf, but he chose to focus on football instead.
Quinney, who hails from Belleville, is the youngest of three brothers and attributes his success to his family.
“I guess [they] toughened me up and made me who I am today,” he joked about his brothers, adding that he couldn’t imagine having more supportive parents.
“They never miss games.”
“When you come into university you’re overwhelmed with this football knowledge and skill that everyone around you has,” said Quinney. “But when you see the people you played with making it to the pros, you think ‘hey, I can play with these guys.’”
Both Quinney and Bestard have already enjoyed several successes in their football careers.
Quinney was awarded Impact Player of the Year this past season, and both Quinney and Bestard were two of four Hawks who represented the West Division in last year’s East vs. West Bowl.
“Both are outstanding young men in our program,” said Laurier manager of football operations and head coach Gary Jeffries.
“They have worked extremely hard and are very deserving,” he added.
Quinney also had praise for Jeffries as both a coach and mentor.
“Coach Jeffries does a lot more than coach Xs and Os. He motivates people, and he certainly lives up to his hype.”
Bestard and Quinney were only rookies when Laurier won the Vanier Cup in 2005, but both regard the experience as one of their most memorable.
“It was a very good time to be coming into the program,” said Quinney. “There were a lot of players then that were just finishing up at Laurier.”
The newly recruited Hawks will join Laurier alumni Ian Logan and Anthony Maggiacomo, who are both currently on Winnipeg’s roster.
“It’s good to have someone there to let you know the ins and outs and everything you need to know,” said Bestard.
“Laurier has fostered an attitude in me that has made me appreciate the people around me,” added Quinney. “We always had this family feeling, and the fact that I’ve always been able to rely on those around me has really helped me to build that strength for myself.
“It’s not the most reliable career, especially [for] someone in my position,” said Quinney.
“If all goes well, I’ll be hitting and getting hit hard every play.”
Aside from their football careers, both Quinney and Bestard hope to pursue teaching in the future.
Jeffries is incredibly proud of the boys, saying, “I wish them the best representing themselves and carrying on the school tradition.”