BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — For the 14th consecutive year, Canisius High School will be sending athletes to play Division I football after graduation. Rising seniors Joe Dixon and Dave Medley committed to play football at Sacred Heart University.
“It was really what my family felt comfortable with, because I’m really doing this thing for my parents,” Canisius senior running back Joe Dixon said. “To show my family coming under me that you can always be what you want to be, and I’m a D-1 football player now, so that shows that. That was a blessing. What helped me choose Sacred Heart was just the foundation that the coaches laid down for me and told me when they started recruiting me from day one, and it was something I fell in love with and made it easy for me to choose them.”
“My family was behind me, it’s not too far, not too close, seven hours away,” Canisius senior defensive back Dave Medley said. “The facilities are great, we’ve been doing a lot of virtual tours throughout this whole COVID-19, so we can’t really get on campus but it’s just as good because you can focus in on the virtual tour and do what you have to do.”
Both Dixon and Medley transferred into Canisius before their junior seasons, and both were told they had Division I potential by Crusaders head coach Rich Robbins, but that they had to go out and work for it.
“Two guys that came in last year as juniors, and really just became part of the family,” Canisius head coach Rich Robbins said. “In our team retreat and some of the stuff we did before the season, you could see that they were our kind of guys and they fit in with the team well, and I think the biggest reason is they’re both really hard workers. Any time you have that good work ethic, it sets you up for success, and that’s why I really wasn’t surprised to see those guys getting some college opportunities.”
“When I first got here, I was not ready to play Division I at all, I didn’t have any interests,” Dixon said. “But then I came here, I bought into the process, and that’s what Coach Robbins told me from day one when I first came and sat down with him in a meeting, you have to buy in and it’s going to work out for you. He told me he saw Division I potential but I had to work for it. Coach Hopkins, he’s been in my corner from day one, helping me get recruited, so I’m thankful that I came here.”
With NYSPHSAA making the decision to postpone the start of the 2020 high school football season until September 21st and cancel regional and state championships, Monsignor Martin is following in their footsteps and implementing the same safety protocols for its athletes. Canisius will not get the chance to defend their state championship this season.