Wolfpack guard joins the Huskies
Evan Reece’s abilities as a football player are unquestionable.
That fact was emphasized in 2021 when the West Niagara offensive guard achieved the rare feat of being named the co-winner of the Niagara Region High School Athletic Association Tier 2 offensive MVP award.
“He is the best football player we have had in years,” said West Niagara head coach Zach Silverthorne of the recent signee with the Saint Mary’s University Huskies.
The 19-year-old Smithville resident has done it all for Silverthorne’s squads, including three seasons ago when he stepped in at quarterback when the previous quarterback quit.
“We won the championship with him and he is also the smartest football player I have seen in a long time,” Silverthorne said. “He understands offence, defence and blocking schemes and he has got grit. You can’t teach that.”
The 6-foot-4, 320-pounder was humbled by Silverthorne’s effusive praise.
“That’s a great honour coming from him and I am going to rub it in my brother’s face because he coached my brother as well,” he said with a laugh. “It means that I pay attention to what the coaches say and take in everything they have to offer. They have forgotten more about football than I will ever know and they have been around football since they were kids.”
Reece feels he took an important step this past season in the tone of his play.
“Last year, I won MVP somehow. I don’t think I deserved it because there were so many guys on my team alone that deserved it over me but I made a mental note at the start of this year to be more aggressive,” he said. “I am going to university to play football so it obviously paid off.”
He came to the conclusion to be more aggressive after watching game film.
“I saw all the things that I thought I could improve on and instead of pushing guys forward I was pushing them to the side to make holes. This year I wanted to push them into the ground.”
He believes he achieved that goal.
“My tape was a little bit better this year than last year.”
In addition to Saint Mary’s, Reeve received an offer from McMaster and had conversations with Guelph and St. Francis Xavier.
“It was between Mac and Saint Mary’s and I think the culture was different out there. They just had a coaching change and the new coaches have brought in so much different stuff that I had never thought would be a part of university football,” he said. “Everybody on the team is buying in to what the coaches are saying and it grabbed my attention. You can really see the difference.”
He wants to help the Huskies win in any way he can.
“I want to contribute as much as I can. If I am a practice player, it doesn’t matter to me so long as I am helping and trying my hardest. I will see where that takes me.”
The future business student is looking forward to his new home.
“I love Halifax. I went there on a visit and it was great. It is so much different out there compared to here and I am looking forward to giving it my all.”
Judging by a Saint Mary’s Instagram post, the team is happy to have him.
“We are excited to welcome an absolute brawler to the Huskies family. Coming to SMU to study at one of Canada’s top business schools, Evan will be a crowd favourite,” the post read.
Reece started playing tackle football in house league when he was six in Smithville and West Niagara. He played every year he could in high school but only played a few years of rep ball because he just wanted to enjoy the sport.
His size comes naturally to him.
“I have always been big and my parents feed me what I want.”