Sports

McCormick finds new football home with Waterloo Warriors

Liam McCormick joins the U-Sports ranks next season as a member of the Waterloo Warriors football team. - Progress graphic
Liam McCormick joins the U-Sports ranks next season as a member of the Waterloo Warriors football team.
— image credit: Progress graphic

Liam McCormick is used to being one of the biggest guys in the room.

But when the graduating captain of the GW Grizzlies offensive line paid a visit to Waterloo University and sat in on a meeting of the Warriors big boys, oh boy!

“When you get to that level there are some big guys, there’s some six-foot-five guys,” McCormick said. “But size has never been anything.”

“If you can get underneath them and get more drive, you’re going to win.”

McCormick gets to test his theory at Waterloo next season as he becomes the third graduating Grizzly to find a home in the U-Sports ranks.

QB Gabe Olivares went to UBC and Ethan Mastin is going waaaaay east to St. Francis Xavier.

McCormick is bringing his hard-hat approach and winning pedigree to a Warriors team that didn’t win a  game last year.

“It’s a building program, but they’ve had really good recruiting classes the last two years,” McCormick said. “I wanted to join a program where I could be part of that building process and helping a team win.”

Head coach Chris Bertoia recruited McCormick, saying the things all coaches say when trying to land a prospect.

He talked about family and the opportunity to compete and his vision for the Warriors.

Literally ever coach ever reads from the same script and it’s hard to know who is being authentic.

But McCormick believes he got the straight goods from Bertoia.

“A guy can talk all he wants, but you can tell by the way his players respond to him,” said McCormick, who saw Bertoia in action during his visit to the Waterloo campus. “They come in in the morning, knock on his office door and say, ‘Hey! Good morning coach!”

“If they didn’t like him would they do that? No. They’d just skip past his office and he’d never know.”

The thing that resonated most with McCormick was the coach’s positivity.

The entire coaching staff’s, actually.

“They pretty much said if you’re negative they don’t want you around because you’re going to bring the team down,” McCormick said. “All the coaches have smiles on their faces and they’re all having fun.”

“It’s a good feel all round at the school.”

On the field, McCormick believes he’ll be able to help the Warriors right away. He won’t intimidate anyone with sheer size, but what he does well fits with what Waterloo wants to do.

“I will come in to August camp and have a chance to compete, and they’re looking for more speed along the offensive line,” the teenager said. “They want someone to hit hard off the edge and that’s good because I’m more quick than big.”

“I’ve played guard and tackle so I can play any position they want me to play and I’m really coachable.”

McCormick and Mastin are the first two GWG players to graduate after putting in a full five years.

McCormick joined the Grizz as a little Grade 7 and leaves with great memories.

“It helped me realize that if you invest years into a program you can build and you can win,” he said. “That’s why with Waterloo and every other school I looked at, I wasn’t really worried about how the team did.”

“I know that if I go in and a bunch of other guys buy in and we put five years in, we can win.”

“GWG taught me that.”

For more info on Waterloo see athletics.uwaterloo.ca

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