Montreal Alouettes | Stories of adversity

“The hardest thing I’ve had to face is adversity at school. »


This is one of the first sentences Marc-Antoine Dequoy uttered after taking the microphone to address young student-athletes at Édouard-Montpetit secondary school in Montreal on Monday morning.

Dequoy, Louis-Philippe Bourassa, Alexandre Gagné, Sean Thomas Erlington and Jamar McGloster were the five players present for this launch of the 26e edition of the Together at School program, which aims to talk about academic perseverance.

The least we can say is that the Alouettes have chosen their spokespersons well. Dequoy, first to speak, launched into the story of his journey full of pitfalls.

As a teenager, the marauder played in civilian football, with the Vikings of L’Île-Bizard, the municipality where he is from.

PHOTO FRANÇOIS ROY, THE PRESS

“The hardest thing I’ve had to face is adversity at school,” said football player Marc-Antoine Dequoy.

“When I arrived in 5e high school, I decided to play for my high school. It was the worst season of my life. It’s the first time I faced real damn adversity,” he said under the gaze of a few hundred attentive young people.

The 29-year-old Quebecer remembers his last regular season game that year. His team was one win away from making the playoffs. A defensive back at the time, he missed an interception late in the game.

My coach takes me after game, in front of everyone, and said to me: Marc, we lost because of you. I felt small in my shorts in please.

Marc-Antoine Dequoy

“How did I react to that? I gave up football. »

Little Marc-Antoine decided to go to CEGEP, to follow the normal school path, but he had lost his motivation. “It was extremely difficult. I think I changed programs twice in one year. »

“I realized: Am I really going to let someone decide when I quit a sport? I said: no, there’s no chance. I’m going to take things into my hands and I’m the one who will decide. »

” I got back up “

PHOTO FRANÇOIS ROY, THE PRESS

From left to right: Sean Thomas Erlington, Louis-Philippe Bourassa, Marc-Antoine Dequoy (front), Alexandre Gagné and Jamar McGloster were the five players present for this launch of the 26e edition of the Together at School program, which aims to talk about academic perseverance.

Headed to Collège Montmorency, where he joined the football team despite his low self-esteem. In his first season, he earned the starting position, but suffered a broken finger in the fifth game, which forced an end to his campaign.

He got up and thought about the next season. He kept up his efforts at school and trained “excessively hard”. But midway through the next training camp, he broke his collarbone. Surgery, end of his season.

“I didn’t want this injury to be the reason why I quit when I know I still have more to give,” he continued.

Once again, he did everything to come back stronger the following season, which included making up school. Except that three games into the season, his coach told him he realized he was no longer eligible to play, due to his age.

At that moment, he recalled, “the easiest thing to do was to give up.”

“I went to see the universities. I knew a coach from the University of Montreal. I said: I want to play for them. My first year wasn’t great. But in my second year, that’s when I was able to blossom, have an excellent season to be today a Montreal Alouettes player. That’s my greatest pride. »

“Yes I gave up at the beginning, but I got back up and fought until the end. Whether this adversity is at school, with your family or with your friends, see it as something surmountable. It’s a bit like a muscle; The more you train him, the stronger he will be. »

Impact

PHOTO FRANÇOIS ROY, THE PRESS

“When I arrived in 5e high school, I decided to play for my high school. It was the worst season of my life. It’s the first time I faced real damn adversity,” he said under the gaze of a few hundred attentive young people.

Once his speech was finished, Dequoy handed the microphone to Louis-Philippe Bourassa, who also told his story of perseverance.

Although the question session that followed initially required a little moderation, it gave rise to some nice exchanges. The footballers, visibly happy to be there, answered each question with a smile.

“We are that generation that was impacted by the Alouettes,” Dequoy told the few media present. (…) In high school, that’s where you’re most likely to swallow everything. It’s not even about giving back to the community; it’s the fun to be able to have a positive impact on young people. »

“We were there at one point in our lives, in their shoes,” Bourassa added. We realize the impact it can have. The fact of having won the Gray Cup gives a little more impact to our speech. They realize that the ultimate goal can be achieved. »


reference: www.lapresse.ca

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