JACK D NEUMANN
Special to the Morning Star
While he was rooting on his alma mater to another provincial football championship, Vernon’s Josh Hyer was still celebrating a title of his own.
Hyer, one of the staples that helped turn Vernon Secondary into a B.C. high school football power, was a key component in the University of Calgary Dinos’ 27-13 Vanier Cup win over the University of Montreal Carabins on Saturday, Nov. 23 in Quebec City, as the Dinos claimed their first Canadian college football national championship in 24 years and fifth in school history.
Hyer was a key part of the rotation on the defensive line as well as seeing action on various special teams.
“This (Vanier Cup) win is the first time I have won a championship,” said a jubilant Hyer. “Winning a national championship is special.”
Hyer was a member of the 2016 VSS Panthers who lost in the Subway Bowl BC 2A Provincial Championship as a senior, the same year the Dinos lost in their last Vanier Cup appearance to Quebec’s Laval Rouge et Or. Oddly enough, two members of the team that defeated the Panthers are from Delta’s Seaquam Secondary Seahawks were Jalen and Tyson Philpot. The Philpots are now members of the Dinos and have become good friends with Hyer.
The 6-foot-4, 255-pound Hyer red-shirted in 2017 before dressing for all regular season games and playing as a redshirt freshman in 2018.
He had the misfortune of missing portions of the 2019 season due to a series of injuries and illness but was at his best in the post-season playing regularly as the Dinos defeated the University of Saskatchewan to capture the Hardy Cup and McMaster University to claim the Mitchell Bowl before advancing to the 55th Vanier Cup game in Quebec City.
Calgary defensive co-ordinator Matt Berry praised Hyer’s contribution.
“Josh was a very important part of our defence that won a national title,” he said. “He played some different positions and helped lead our defensive line group down the stretch.”