Cobequid Educational Centre quarterback to play for Acadia

CEC's Dustin Pettigrew anxious to work hard at the next level

Published on February 8, 2017

Dustin Pettigrew is looking forward to playing football with Acadia University in Wolfville.

©Jonathan Riley/TC Media

TRURO, N.S. – Truro’s Dustin Pettigrew will play university football with the Acadia Axemen in the Atlantic University Sport conference.

The 17-year-old Grade 12 student at Cobequid Educational Centre is anxious to see how he fares at the AUS level. The six-foot one, 185-pound pivot has started at quarterback for CEC for the last three years and hopes to continue in that role at university, but nothing is guaranteed.

“I’m going to train as a quarterback and see how I do there, but the coaches tell me if that doesn’t work out, that I have the skill set to excel at receiver,” says Pettigrew. “I hope if I work hard enough, I can have a starting position by the end of next year.”

Pettigrew also plays varsity basketball at CEC – in fact he was playing basketball at the age of seven or eight when he first caught the attention of Truro football coach Dennis McCarthy.

“He was the one, he kept telling me I should come out and try it, and right from the first game I loved it,” says Pettigrew.

Pettigrew started at QB for CEC in the second game of his Grade 10 year and only missed one game after that.

“I broke my hand and took one game off but then I played the rest of the playoffs with it bandaged up,” he says.

Pettigrew was rookie of the year in Grade 10, was offensive MVP in Grade 11 and this past year was named league MVP.

One of his favourite memories was this season’s home game against CP Allen.

“Our coaches were telling us this was an important game and we needed to win it – if we beat them, then we’d move into a tie for first,” remembers Pettigrew. “On the first play I rolled out and got just rocked.”

But Pettigrew managed to get the ball off to Riley Gabriel who ran it in for a 75-yard touchdown.

“Coming back to the bench it was just roaring, that was a good feeling,” said Pettigrew.

Despite the big hit he suffered on that first play, he stayed in the game, kept his head and quarterbacked the Truro team to the win – toughness he says is one of his strengths along with a good deal of agility.

“I’m agile so I can escape the pocket and I’m tough so I can sit in there and take a hit,” says Pettigrew. “You have to be tough for football – you have to keep getting up and keep fighting. But I’m also a smart player – I know where to cut and I’m not afraid of anyone.”

Pettigrew knows not many players actually earn a starting spot in their first year at university but his plan, for next year and beyond, is plain, old-fashioned hard work.

“I just want to play football – I know the key is going to be working hard and seeing where it takes me. Ideally I’d like to make some kind of draft and play at the highest level possible.”

The football Axemen have finished third (out of four teams) in the AUS the last four years.