Grizzly star courted by Clansmen

It seems a matter of when, not if, Diego Pineda will secure a university scholarship.

GW Graham’s Diego Pineda is drawing the eyes of several university recruiters.

It seems a matter of when, not if, Diego Pineda will secure a university scholarship.

The GW Graham football star spent his summer being courted by several CIS (Canadian Inter-University Sport) programs, including heavyweights like the Western Ontario Mustangs and Guelph Gryphons.

“I visited SFU (Simon Fraser University) just last Monday and they seem pretty serious about recruiting me,” the big defensive lineman added. “Guelph is ready to fly me out whenever I want, so I’ll probably head out there during our bye week in October.”

The recruiting process can be overwhelming for a high school student.

Coaches texting and emailing. All of them try to put their best foot forward, painting a rosy picture of their school and program.

“You have all these options, and if you’re really thinking about it, you don’t want to mess up and make the wrong decision,” Pineda said. “I have my family to help me, which is kind of cool. I’m trying to take it very seriously and do my research.”

Pineda has earned every bit of attention he gets. The very definition of a gym rat, when he’s not on the field or sleeping, there’s a good bet he’s working out.

“I don’t even really like to take rest days, because I feel bad about it,” he said. “It’s just this thing that’s in my head.”

Over the past two years he’s bulked up to the point where he’s nearly impossible to block one on one.

Rushing off the edge last year, he terrorized opposing quarterbacks. This year, the GWG coaching staff is going to mix it up, trying Pineda at nose tackle in their 3-5 alignment.

“My coaches like to switch it up and move me around because it makes it harder for the other team to adjust,” he said. “I have a really fast first step off the line, and it’s really hard for the center, and even a center and guard to get me. Often I’m in the backfield before they really react.”

CIS schools are recruiting him as a defensive end, but they’ll appreciate his versatility.

They’ll notice him playing at left tackle for the GWG offence this season.

Plus, he’s a key member of the Grizzly special teams. Pineda might never come off the field.

“If I have a really good season, a lot of these schools are talking about full-ride and all that stuff,” Pineda said. “It’s cool having so many eyeballs watching me. If you’d told me three years ago I’d be at this point, it would have been a shocker.”

Pineda wants to get a masters degree, probably in criminology, and eventually be a homicide detective. Doing his research, he’s found all of the schools to be in the same ball-park academically.

“The people from these programs have  told me that all the universities in Canada have great education,” he said. “It’s a pretty level playing field in that way, so it’s just up to me what my football preference is.”

Western and Guelph are two of the premier programs in the OUA (Ontario University Athletics).

Guelph is a short 30 minute drive from Toronto and has sent several players on to the Canadian Football League.

“They have about eight different sets of uniforms and I kind of like that,” Pineda chuckled.

Western has a phenomenal track record for producing offensive linemen for the CFL, and won the 2013 Yates Cup as OUA champions.

But SFU has an advantage over both of them, playing NCAA football against American schools.

“They play in Los Angeles and everywhere, and this year they’re playing a division-one school,” Pineda said. “I want to play at the highest level possible.”

Another advantage would be proximity to home, though Pineda doesn’t seem bothered by the idea of Ontario.

“I think it’s kind of cool because I’ve always wanted to travel to the other side of Canada,” he said. “One of the first things the Ontario coaches ask me is if I mind moving, and I say, ‘No. I want to explore and not stay stuck in a little box in Chilliwack, BC.’”

Pineda wants to get a commitment out of the way early.

“I want to get that distraction out of the way so I can focus on school,” he said.

It’ll also let him focus on his work with the Grizzlies as the team takes aim at a provincial crown.

Get more info at

Just Posted

Fire hall breakfast to fireworks at Cultus Lake Day in Chilliwack

‘This will be a great day with lots of live music and family fun,’ says organizer Joe Lamb

Streets of Chilliwack to come alive with classic cars, summer parties

Fortin’s Village Classic Car Show and Party in the Park draw tens of thousands to downtown Chilliwack

Seven Days in Chilliwack

A list of community events happening in Chilliwack from June 17 to 23

Chilliwack’s Secondary Characters celebrate a decade of drama with cabaret

Secondary Characters 10th annual Confectioner’s Cabaret features desserts, performing arts

National Indigenous Peoples Day in Chilliwack has two events

One event is at Tzeachten Field and the other at the Sto:lo Resource Centre

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

Driver loses tire while behind the wheel after lug-nut thief strikes in Burnaby

Burnaby RCMP are investigating after two reports of lug-nut tampering in the city this month

Federal cabinet ministers visit Edmonton, Calgary, in wake of TMX approval

Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi is set to visit Trans Mountain Corp.’s terminal in Edmonton

B.C. municipality prepares to forbid overnight camping by homeless despite court ruling

While courts have ruled against blanket bans, Langley City is employing a site-by-site approach

B.C. auditor says Indigenous grad rate highest ever but education gaps exist

The percentage of Indigenous students graduating from B.C. public high schools has hit its highest level ever

Statistics Canada reports annual pace of inflation rises in May to 2.4%

Transportation prices gained 3.1 per cent as the cost of air transportation added 8.9 per cent

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

Metro Vancouver’s air quality could be the worst yet this wildfire season

As wildfire season approached, Metro Vancouver experts predict the air will be an issue for many

Most Read