Volume 93, Issue 20
October 1, 1999
Whenever it Raynes, it pours
NUMBER NINE, NUMBER NINE, NUMBER NINE. Whether tearing down Abbey Road or any field in the Ontario University Athletics, Fabian Rayne shines through.
By Chad Thompson
Every time Western plays, it Raynes. It Raynes touchdowns, it Raynes rushing yards and it Raynes wins. The cause of this downpour is a fullback by the name of Fabian Rayne.
Rayne started playing football when he was 11 years old. He later played high school ball for Wolburn Collegiate in Scarborough, Ontario after which he was heavily recruited by both American and Canadian universities.
"I was not going to come to Western," the fourth-year honours kinesiology student admitted. Instead, Rayne said he considered offers from the University of Illinois and Simon Frasier University.
"I was actually going to go to the [United] States. Things just didn't work out the way I wanted them to work out, so I chose Western as a late choice, but I am glad that I did."
When it comes to playing football after his time at Western ends, Rayne said he has one objective in mind. "My goal is to play in the [National Football League]. That is my first and foremost goal not discrediting and discounting the [Canadian Football League] in any way, but my goal is to play in the NFL."
Rayne said being a runningback takes a unique character because of the mix of aggressiveness and intelligence required. "You have to be tough, but at the same time you have to be smart because you are getting hit all the time and you don't want to put your body in a situation where at the age of 25 or 30 there is no more. You have to save yourself but play full out at the same time. You have to know how to avoid contact and give it at the same time."
As for his role on the team, tailback Scott Crawley said Rayne is a personal guy who keeps everyone spirits up in the locker room. "He is a competitive guy who trains like an animal," Crawley said, adding on the field, Rayne can be the best runningback in Canada.
Larry Haylor, Mustangs head coach, said Rayne is a great player. "He is an intense competitor, he is mentally and physically tough. He hates to lose. The things he does are directed towards winning."
Haylor added his talents on the field are obvious. "He is a very complete package, he blocks and runs and catches very well. He is the best back in the [Ontario University Athletics] conference."
Rayne explained his game day routine begins the night before a game, when the position players get together for dinner and continues on the next day. "After dinner we go about our little rituals we take the same path home. The actual day, you get up in the morning and go for breakfast at T.J. Baxter's, then you go to the clinic and get some physio and then head down to the stadium and warm up."
With a new stadium being built, Rayne said he would miss everything about J.W. Little Memorial Stadium. "What I am going to miss is just being there being there on a Saturday, coming out seeing all the students and all the fans and just the whole atmosphere. Just knowing that for 70 years that people before us have done the same things we have done."
This summer Rayne added he was able to go with the Western rugby team on their travels to South Africa. He cited the trip as the best experience of his life. One of the places he travelled to was Robin Island, which houses the prison where Nelson Mandela was held. Rayne said the whole experience was very emotional.
"I had the conceptions of what it would be like but they were all wrong. I got there and I was just like 'Wow people were actually imprisoned here.' It was hard to understand. It was hard to take it in and to accept it, tears actually came out of my eyes," he said.
Rayne said he found it hard to visit the stalls of the prisoners. "I would definitely recommend it for people to go and see what it is like because you will never understand it until you do it. You'll never get a full feel for it. That was something I needed at this moment in my life, to open my eyes up and bring myself back down to reality."
With all the accolades Rayne received last year, he said he would trade it all in for a Vanier Cup. "All [those records and awards are] nice to talk about, but no one remembers the guy who came second or the guy who could have, but didn't."
When his playing days at Western are done, Rayne said the one thing he wants people to say about him is he played the game with all his heart and worked hard.
Copyright © The Gazette 1999