Over the past four seasons the Kamloops Broncos have enjoyed having a talented crop of receivers, with threat of making a huge play each and every time they touch the ball.
One of those threats was Colin Mather, now a graduate of the Broncos program, after finishing the 2016 season with 36 receptions, 478 yards and five touchdowns. During his four years with the Broncos he made 63 receptions for 777 yards and scored seven touchdowns.
Now that he has graduated he takes time to reflect on this career in the CJFL. “My highlight for 2016 I would say would be the final game against Westshore on October 1st, scoring two touchdowns and making a couple catches near the end of the game to keep us driving. As for my career, I couldn't pick just one highlight, there's a few that stand out. My first year I got a fair amount of playing time being the sixth receiver off the bench that was a big milestone and goal I worked hard for being a rookie from high school. I made a big onside kick recovery that i caught in stride against Langley and returned for a few yards that led to a touchdown and scoring my first touchdown would be a few that come to mind.”
With all the teammates Mather played with during his four year career, who does he say is his favourite? “I could not say one teammate was better than the other. Throughout my career we were a close group and everyone did their part in something. My first few years I got to practice every day with Devin Csincsa and Derek Yachison who gave out tips and really showed the work ethic early it takes if you want to standout. My rookie year I had who is now the OC Jesse Neufeld really help me with the plays if I struggled, which I did, and grew my football IQ with his mental game tips. Other guys like Brody Bernier and Broden Romanovitch, during my final year they helped me in practice and in games without Dev and Yach. It was also a competition to us and we always wanted to beat the other guys in stats or with a big play. There were also the characters like Austin Semeniuk who was only there to have fun and play a game he enjoyed and when practice got hard or mentally frustrating his jokes were always good. I could never say one guy was better than the other but those are just some guys that helped me as a player throughout my career.”
The past four years have gone by in a blink of an eye for the Edmonton native who reflects on what he’ll miss the most about wearing Bronco blue and orange, “Obviously since I'm stepping away I'll miss the game. I'll miss seeing and hanging with the guys every day and doing the things a bunch of guys with free time can get up to. The Broncos players have always had a huge bond with each other. But I'll miss living in Kamloops, it's a gorgeous city and as hard as it was practicing in that heat, I'll miss the intense heat every day. Running out of the locker room on game day to the local fans cheering was a favourite too. I took it all in in my last game and enjoyed it all, I couldn't have asked for a better program to play with.”
What’s the most important lesson the 22 year old takes with him, “junior football really showed me how far hard work can get you. No matter what other people say, it's up to you and your work ethic. It's tried and true, the guys that want it succeed and junior football really opened my eyes to that.”
So what’s next for Mather? “Well by a big surprise I've decided to step away from football. I haven't really told many people the big news yet. I had University offers this year from a number of great programs but what I'm going to do and really focusing on right now is chasing after a career with the police. School was never my thing, if I got the offers last year like I did this year retiring would have never been a question. I became very interested in policing about a year ago and this winter I weighed the positive/negatives about going to school and the money side of things and I could feel my interests flipping towards calling it a career. Leaving football still seems crazy to me, I can't believe it's happening to be honest but there's a lot of great people in my life that supported me while I played football and they are still very supportive about chasing a new goal which makes the transition much easier. But there is coaching, I'm helping receivers on a midget team now, I'll hopefully be helping with a timbit team sometime this spring as well as going back to my high school to work with the Recs. The game did a lot of great things for me and it's time to take all these tips I've learned from great players and coaches and pass it on, it's a different thrill to coach but it's awesome to see kids enthusiasm to learn.”
When Mather does become a police officer one thing is certain, no-one will be able to outrun the former Kamloops Bronco and new member of the CJFL Class of 2016.