The H.J. Cody Lakers have to unfortunately wave goodbye to their star wide receiver Tyrese Hamilton. Due to his time on the football field and in the classroom in Sylvan Lake, however, Hamilton has the opportunity to play for the University of Alberta Golden Bears. He recently completed the Bears spring camp, which opened his eyes to the level of competition at the next level of football.
“Camp went well,” he said. “Everyone is a little stronger and a littler faster. In a year or two I will be there, neck and neck with them. Nothing to be afraid of there, at least.”
Hamilton’s confidence remained high after his first experience in post-secondary football. He is now looking to apply that confidence in the weight room throughout the summer.
“From a personal perspective, the biggest thing I need to work on is my size,” he said. “I need to be a little stronger and through my summer regimen, I will get there definitely by next year at the latest.”
Hamilton feels that it would be advantageous for him, both academically and athletically, to red shirt for a season – meaning he would practice with the team but not compete in games, thus retaining a year of eligibility. Laker Coach Jeremy Braitenbach was pleased to see Hamilton’s success and feels he has the opportunity to excel at the next level.
“I think his head is in the right place with this because he is looking at getting a university degree out of it first and football second, which I encourage,” Braitenbach said, adding that “he needs to put on some size to play with these guys. His speed is at the same calibre as them, but he needs to work on making catches more consistently.”
Hamilton has always appreciated the guidance of his Coach and looks to continually apply what he has learned.
“He knows the game inside and out, and playing for the Lakers has prepped me for the next level,” Hamilton said, adding that there are many things he can work on to add to his primary skill – that being his break out speed.
“It is not so much a skill – it is a trait, and speed can’t be taught,” Hamilton explained. “That is actually what I am learning from going to this camp. Sure, the guys are all faster but that is a generalization, there are some guys that are super fast and some that aren’t fast at all. You can add tricks like your break-downs and what not, but you have to know when you balance that. To work on my game is more of an agility thing and less running in a straight line.”
Being able to go to school is what led Hamilton to choose the U of A over other teams like the Edmonton Huskies – who also had interest in Hamilton.
“That is the biggest focus,” Hamilton said. “The education aspect is driving me towards the U of A lifestyle. I plan to major in education and from there, I will see where football takes me. Maybe I could be a CFL player with an education degree that can substitute teach in the offseason.”
A year of red shirting will allow Hamilton to get used to playing a sport and going to university at the same time.
“I have heard going to university is a lot different than high school, so I will need to get adjusted to that,” he said.
Hamilton is just one of the success stories of this Lakers team that won three league championships in a row.
“We are doing something right, I guess,” Braitenbach said. “We have a couple running back on the Edmonton Huskies and we have a receiver with the Dinos who is a starter and doing well. We can’t take all the credit. We encourage the players to work hard, athletically and academically.”
Braitenbach added that he and his coaching staff continue to support anyone who has worn the Laker uniform and encourages them to come visit and help out with the team when they can.
Hamilton added “thank you to everyone who has supported me. The experience is awesome and my coaches, family and friends are a huge part of that.”