Wakefield students go Grey Cup crazy
When Trevor Hoyte was a student at Wakefield Elementary School, he remembers barfing in the principal’s office.
The Canadian Football League Grey Cup champion told students he grew up just like they did — skiing at Vorlage, playing soccer at the old Wakefield school, swimming in the river in the summer and, yes, getting sick at school.
Hoyte’s surprise visit to the school had the students abuzz on March 14, as the born-and-raised Wakefield football star brought a little souvenir with him — The Grey Cup.
“I wanted to show that it doesn’t matter where you come from – we come from a small town … – but you can go and do whatever you would like to do with your life,” said Hoyte to the Grade 5 and 6 students, who were huddled around him. “And this is proof of it right here,” he added, lifting the CFL’s championship trophy over his head.
The kids cheered and rushed the six-foot-two, 218-pound linebacker — all of them trying to get their hands on the coveted trophy. All of them did.
Hoyte’s motivational talk with the kids went from football to astrophysics to vegetables and, not surprisingly, several questions about arguably the greatest quarterback of all time, Tom Brady.
“No, I have not met Tom Brady,” chuckled 24-year-old Hoyte.
Another student asked, out of the blue, “Do you like lettuce?”
There were other questions about black holes and planets, and the students seemed more interested in Hoyte’s astrophysics degree than his football career.
“What’s my favourite planet? Definitely earth,” Hoyte quipped back to a round of chuckles.
One student even asked how fast Hoyte could run, and the CFL champ said, “I bet I could beat all of you in a race.” At the end of the talk, he did race them, and although it was close, Hoyte managed to beat out about a dozen kids in the gym, narrowly. The football player then spent nearly 30 minutes signing autographs on slips of paper, t-shirts and several student’s sneakers.
Hoyte was born in Lac Notre Dame and spent much of his youth hanging out in Wakefield He attended Philemon Wright High School, where he played football for the Falcons, before suiting up for the Carleton Ravens for four years.
The Toronto Argonauts drafted Hoyte in the fourth round, 33rd overall in the 2021 draft, and he won the Grey Cup with the Argos in just his second season in the league last year.
Hoyte still lives in the Hills when he’s not playing football, and he’s been helping out as a supply teacher at Hadley Junior High. He’s also helped the Falcons on the gridiron.
Hoyte said, when it came his turn to spend time with the Grey Cup, taking it to the schools he attended as a young boy was a no-brainer.
“I think giving back is the most important thing that you can do,” he said. “I never would have been able to get to the position I'm in without the people around me that supported me and helped me and gave me the belief that I can achieve what I wanted to achieve.”
Hoyte added that he wanted to return the favour by hopefully inspiring even just one kid to dream big. He said the way he sees it, success is a two-way street.
“If you don't give back, then you haven't really succeeded,” he said. “You only succeed when you've really been able to uplift the people around you, especially the next generation.”
Week 1 of the CFL season gets underway on June 8. However, Hoyte’s Argonauts aren’t in action until Week 2, on June 18, when they take on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.