Cochrane quarterback Xavier Vaillancourt is expected to make his first home start for the UCalgary Dinos this Friday night against the Saskatchewan Huskies at McMahon Stadium.

It follows his first start as the pivot in last week's game in Regina, where he put up some impressive numbers for the struggling Dinos.

Vaillancourt received a vote of confidence from the team by being named offensive player of the week.

"That was a good confidence booster and a good reward to know all my work has been paying off, so it felt good."

He's going into the game with confidence in his team in what will be a tough game against the 2-1 Huskies.

"Coming into this last game, we only had two touchdowns on the board, and then we scored another two," says Vaillancourt. "We're just as a couple plays away as an offense, so it's really encouraging, and we feel pretty confident going into this week that we're going to go play a good game and try to win."

Last week's start was his first since signing with the Dinos.

"It was really fun to play a full game again and to have the feeling of getting ready to go out there and have a chance to win a game," says Vaillancourt. "It's been four years since I've played a real meaningful game and taken real hits."

The week previously, he went in late in the game when Dinos starter Dom Britton was injured, and he saw some play late last season.

Signed at age 17 on the first day of post-secondary eligibility on Sept. 1, 2019, Vaillancourt was pursued by several universities as one of the top prospects in Canada. He joined the Dinos organization upon graduating from Cochrane High and is currently using his first year of eligibility.

Cochrane defensive back Ben Dobson also got his first start in last week's game against the Rams. The pair are the only active Cochrane players on the Dinos roster.

"It was really good," says Vaillancourt. "It was a Cochrane day."

xav 2(photo submitted)

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