SPRINGHILL, N.S. – Standing at six-foot-five and weighing in at 270 pounds, Chase Clayton is hard to miss.
The 16-year-old Springhiller will be even harder to miss when he throws on his football pads at the 2019 Football Canada Cup in Kingston, Ont., from July 5 to 13.
“It’s one of the main scouting events for universities in Canada,” Clayton said. “It’s kind of nerve-wracking going up against the best football players in the country. It’s a challenge.”
Clayton plays with Team Nova Scotia and will play against provinces from throughout Canada.
“I feel like I’m really prepared for it. I have really good coaching from Team Nova Scotia and at Tantramar High School. They’ve prepared me to take on anybody in the country.”
Clayton is in Grade 10 and this is his first year playing football at Tantramar Regional High School.
Starting in 2012, Clayton played football with the Cumberland County Wolfpack for four years.
After they folded he played minor football for one year in Sackville, and then for one year in Truro.
This year he started attending TRHS, where he is an honour student.
“The teachers are great, and they care a lot about the students,” Clayton said. “They’re always there to help you. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is.”
He played football with TRHS this past fall, and over the winter started off-season training for the first time.
“In the winter we train mostly in the weight room, and now we’re going to Mount A for on-field conditioning. We run basic plays without any contact or gear.”
Clayton plays on both the defensive and offensive lines at TRHS.
“I always liked the defensive line more, but this was my first year playing on the O-line, and I started liking it more than defence,” he said.
He likes football because it’s very team-oriented.
“You have to know your teammates just as well as you know yourself because if one person doesn’t do their job the whole play will break down. “
He also likes the physicality of football.
“It’s a good way to release your anger.”
Clayton is currently ranked 22nd among Canadian high school football prospects by Canada Football Chat.
“They have me ranked 22nd in the graduating class of 2021,” Clayton said. “It’s an honour to be ranked but I have a lot of work to do before I go to university.”
Where does he plan to go to school after he graduates from TRHS?
“I’m trying to keep my options open right now. It’s a long time before I make that choice.”