Ben Dobson has proven to be an impact player for the tough defence of the Cochrane Cobras and for many other teams over the years.
Come next fall, the Cobra will bring that talent to the University of Calgary Dinos. He's recently committed to play for the defending national Usports champs.
The 6'1" defensive back says he has had interest expressed by other schools, but this is where he wants to play his post-secondary ball.
"I had a few other schools talking to me, but when Dinos offered and I talked to them, it just felt like the right place to go," says Dobson.
"The level of football there is so high as the reigning Vanier Cup champs. There's great players, and everyday I'll be practising against the best players in Canada."
That, plus top-level coaches, having friends on the team and being close to home with family and friends all contributed to his decision.
Last night's Red and White Game may well be the last time he wears #27 for the Cobras.
"Just being able to put the jersey on for possibly the last time ever, and play what somewhat feels like a game, having full contact and be able to imagine what it would like to have a senior season almost, it's just fun to be playing football and to wear the Cobras colours for one last time."
Dobson says he owes much to the Cobras coaching staff for his development as a player. He says the team's practices and gameplay mirrors that of a post-secondary team.
"The Cobras have been incredible. All the coaches are great at what they do. The reason why we win so much is because we have the best coaching staff, possibly in the province."
Tom Knitter is the Cobras's defensive back coach.
"He's an incredible coach. He helped make me into the player I am now with his coaching and expertise. It really helped with my development."
Co-head coach Rob McNab believes Dobson has a promising future with the Dinos because of his work ethic, athleticism, and football knowledge.
"Coach Knitter has worked very hard with him, and then Ben works on those skills. He's tall, probably one of the fastest kids in the province, so he's going to make his mark at the next level, I can guarantee that."
Dobson made two key interceptions in the provincial final last November that contributed to the Cobras' 17-0 win over Lloydminster Holy Rosary Raiders.
"If he doesn't do that and they score, that's a whole different game," says McNab. "He was lead on that defence last year, and did everything we needed to shut that team down."
Football has been a passion of Dobson since he first played with the Cochrane Lions bantam team.
Last year, he was also one of the Cochrane players helping the midget Airdrie Raiders win the Div. 2 championship of the Calgary Spring Football League. In addition, he was part of Alberta's bronze medal team in the 2019 Canada Football Cup.
Dinos training is expected to begin in the spring.