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Tigers’ Rain Slater Commits To UND Football

WINNIPEG, MB. — St. John’s Tigers offensive lineman, Rain Slater, has committed to play football at the University of North Dakota starting in 2018.

His father, Ryan, made the announcement this weekend as did the coaches at Winnipeg’s Recruit Ready.

Slater was named the top offensive lineman in the WHSFL this past year even though he played in the Class A Andy Currie Division with the smaller schools.

He is a 6-foot-4, 320-pound offensive guard and tackle who also plays along the defensive line. He’ll likely be an O-lineman at UND. He has also played on both the U-16 and U-18 Team Manitoba squads. On defense, he had one quarterback sack this season and he also ran back a kickoff 35 yards. He was once a running back for the Winnipeg Nomads.

“Rain Slater is an inspiration to our league but more importantly to his school and Community,” said WHSFL commissioner Rick Henkewich. “And not just for the outstanding athletic ability Rain displays, but more for the following attributes: Integrity, leadership, Inspiration, discipline, perseverance and hard work.

“Rain has consistently delivered the message that his word is his bond. By staying at St John’s High School, he not only showed a generation of young men what it means to keep your word, but he inspired them to strive to succeed and excel. Rain’s efforts at St John’s have turned a program and school around. He has shown the young men and women at St John’s what can be achieved though discipline, hard work and perseverance.”

Slater has been a can’t-miss prospect for a number of years and last season was, indeed, expected to be the next big thing. A running back-turned-two-way-lineman, Slater is not only a skilled blocker, but a devastating hitter. Peguis First Nation, which can brag about so many good athletes, now has another to flaunt.

The kid has size, skill and desire and he might just be one of the best high school linemen to come along in decades. He’s a talented young man, as well. He not only plays football at a high level, but he also “does well” in school and is becoming a first-class guitarist.

“When he’s not playing football, doing his school work or working with Recruit Ready, he’s playing the guitar,” said his father Ryan. “If he sets his mind to it, Rain can be anything he wants to be. He’s a very talented young man.”

“Everybody keeps saying he’s going to be the next (former Blue Bombers )-lineman) Kelly Butler,” Ryan added with a laugh. “He definitely loves the game and he works hard at it so he might be able to accomplish that.”

He has proven that you don’t have to be at St. Paul’s or Oak Park or Vincent Massey to succeed as a high school football player. Great players come out of small high schools, as well. At UND he will join Oak Park grad and star runningback Brady Oliveira and Vincent Massey grad and up-and-coming defensive end Mason Bennett.

“Rain has also shown people that it does not matter where you play.
If you’re good the scouts will find you,” said Henkewich. “In his three years at St John’s, Rain went from a big, young teenager to a young man who has a future ahead of him, and not just in football, but in life.

“Rain Slater will be an inspiration to the young men and women of the North End for years to come.”

—Scott Taylor, MyToba Sports

Photos – Ryan Slater

Editor of the popular Game On Hockey Magazine and The Point After Football Magazine, editor of Canadian Meat Business Magazine, sports editor of Grassroots News, TV play-by-play voice of the Winnipeg Goldeyes and author of the bestselling book: The Winnipeg Jets: A Celebration of Professional Hockey in Winnipeg. He likes virgin pina coladas, long walks on the beach, puppies and thoroughbred race horses that run according to form.
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