The North Bay Bulldogs are well set at quarterback this year with Jordan Heather, the top Canadian university player in 2013 under centre this season.
Author of the article Greg Estabrooks | North Bay Nugget
Published May 27, 2023
Sports analysts have said the football quarterback is the most important in team sports. If that is the case the North Bay Bulldogs are in good shape at the QB position.
The North Bay Bulldogs are well set at quarterback
Jordan Heather was named the top player U Sports in 2013 when he was the quarterback for the Bishop’s Gaiters. Heather is now in the military, a captain employed at 22 Wing/CFB North Bay.
Heather was stationed in North Bay a year ago, played flag football, then was recruited to put the pads on and play tackle football again.
At Bulldogs practice on Thursday, Heather talked about coming back and the fact that the military would allow him to play despite the injury risk.
“The military is incredibly supportive of CAF (Canadian Armed Forces) members who want to do extracurricular activities. They are supportive of members who want to play sports,” says the 2013 Hec Crighton Trophy winner.
The military has a sports program and Heather took advantage of that.
“You are allowed to play extracurricular sports if the military doesn’t provide that sport, you have to get approval through the chain of command, and they are fully supportive,” remarked the Bulldogs’ quarterback. “Especially if it improves my morale and keeps me physically fit,” says Heather.
The last time Heather played football was 2017 in a senior league in Alberta. This was part of the Canadian Major Football League.
Longtime Bulldogs Head Coach Marc Mathon is running the team and the defense, but he has given Heather full reign over the offence. He is really a playing coach.
“I am the offensive co-ordinator, I’m calling the plays, I put the offence in and I’m on the field playing,” stated Heather. “Marc is the head coach of the team; he lets me run the offense completely and allows me to make all of the calls on the field,” says the Bulldogs quarterback.
Heather is excited working with players will varied football backgrounds and skill levels.
“That is what I like about playing here. At university there is a lot of pressure, practicing five days a week and watching film and there is a lot of stress,” states Heather. “Playing here is a lot more casual. The variety of skill levels adds a lot to practice as there is a lot of teaching going on,” says the former Bishop’s quarterback.
Heather says the Northern Football Conference still has its share of quality players.
“There are some university players on this team and some players on other teams who had CFL (Canadian Football League) tryouts. It’s a very enjoyable league to play in,” stated Heather.
Mathon played U Sports football himself and naturally is thrilled to have a player of Heather’s caliber on the roster. Mathon says his presence helps the Bulldogs in a few ways
“Having a Hec Crighton Award winner on the team and the experience he has will allow him to work with our other quarterbacks. That is the biggest thing,” says Mathon. “He sees things quickly; he gets the ball where it needs to be and at the right time. He is getting all the receivers on the same page,” remarked the Bulldogs Head Coach.
Mathon knows it is great to have another coach on the field and with Heather joining the team the head coach says it has paid dividends in player recruitment.
On the league front, the NFC teams will only be playing a six-game regular season with extra bye weeks in between.
The Bulldogs open at home on Saturday, June 3 at 7 p.m. at Mike O’Shea Field versus the Ottawa Sooners.