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Mouat grad Dicks expects home turf advantage in Vanier Cup

Defensive back Allan Dicks #9 of the McMaster Marauders poses at BC Place following a team practice. The Marauders will face the Laval Rouge et Or for the Vanier Cup on Friday, November 25, 2011 at BC Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Credit: Daniel Fung/Football BC

Daniel Fung, Football BC Examiner November 23, 2011

The 47th edition of the Vanier Cup championship may have a decidedly Eastern flavour with Ontario’s McMaster Marauders going up against Quebec’s Laval Rouge et Or but Marauders’ defensive back Allan Dicks figures it will be his team that has the backing of the crowd in the title game that takes place on Friday, November 27 at BC Place.

Football fans in this province might not know much about either the Marauders or the Rouge et Or but plenty will be familiar with Dicks, who starred with the WJ Mouat Hawks of the BC High School Football Association before heading east to join the Marauders.

Dicks figures that he, alone, will have a loud and proud cheering section when kickoff for the first-ever Vanier Cup game in history to take place in British Columbia gets underway.

“Probably a good 40 or 50 people,” Dicks estimates when asked how many friends and family he expects to have at the game.

Dicks won’t have much competition – if any – to go up against when it comes to being the clear-cut hometown favorite. Between the two competing teams, the Abbotsford-native is the only player that hails from the province of British Columbia.

“It’s great,” said Dicks when asked about getting a chance to play for a championship title in his home province. “All my friends and family are out here. It’s nice to come back for such a big game and have all that support.”

“It gives me another incentive to try that much harder. I’ll be just fired up playing for my home crowd.”

The fans in the stands won’t be the only reason why Dicks will have a home field advantage. He also has the experience of previously playing on BC Place turf having done so at the Subway Bowl championship game twice with the WJ Mouat Hawks in 2008 and 2009. Dicks’ Hawks came up short in both those years so he figures, at least on a personal level, third time will be a charm.

“It’s got to be,” said Dicks with a laugh. “We’re pretty confident. We have a good scheme. We have a good team. I think we can take it to them.”

The Marauders, who have never won a Vanier Cup in their history, will be the clear-cut underdog going up against the defending champs Rouge et Or but Dicks guarantees his team will have a strong showing and hopes he can count on the entire province for their support at BC Place.

“Just come cheer us on and we won’t disappoint you guys.”

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