Nova Scotia

'It didn't feel real': N.S. teen named New Hampshire's top high school football player

Malcolm Bussey of Hammonds Plains has been named the top high school football player in New Hampshire.

Malcolm Bussey, 17, is originally from Hammonds Plains and is studying at St. Paul's School

Malcolm Bussey of Hammonds Plains, N.S., is a 17-year-old running back for St. Paul's School in Concord, N.H. He was recently named New Hampshire's top high school football player. (Mia C. Toledo-Navarro)

A 17-year-old junior running back from Hammonds Plains, N.S., has been named new New Hampshire's high school football player of the year.

The Gatorade New Hampshire Football Player of the Year award recognizes athletic excellence, high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. 

Malcolm Bussey found out he was the winner last week.

"It was amazing," Bussey, a student at St. Paul's School in Concord, N.H., said in a phone interview on Monday.

"It was just an unbelievable feeling. It didn't feel real at first."

Bussey, five-foot-11 and 196 pounds, led his team, the Pelicans, to a 9-0 record.

Over the course of the season, he rushed for 1,436 yards and 22 touchdowns on 123 carries, averaging 11.7 yards per rush.

Teammates credited

"A Canadian winning an American award, it's amazing to be able to accomplish as a junior, like I'm not even a senior yet, so I'm pretty proud of myself," he said.

Bussey is the first player from his school to win the award. He is quick to credit his teammates.

The team has won consecutive New England Preparatory School Athletic Council championships.

"It's a great group of guys," he said. 

The team's quarterback has committed to UCLA and a receiver is going to University of New Hampshire.

"We just had a great team this year. We could throw the ball and run the ball and play a great shutdown defence. The coaching staff is great. They always prepare us well for each game.

"Like my entire time I've been here, we haven't lost a game. Knock on wood. But it's been a great experience at this school. Obviously, credit is going to be going out to my teammates."

Roots in Timberlea Titans

Bussey began playing football when he was eight. He grew up playing for the Timberlea Titans and went on to play for Team Nova Scotia. He's been playing in the U.S. for the past two years.

In addition to football,  Bussey is on the hockey and track and field teams.

He has volunteered with a Learn to Skate program and on behalf of Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, a program that raises awareness about violence against women.

In the press release announcing the Gatorade award, the head coach of a rival team said Bussey "is the best running back we have played against in nine years of me being here."

Joe Linta, of Hamden Hall Country Day School, said Bussey "is a high school version of [2019 NFL MVP candidate] Christian McCaffrey."

Bussey still has another year at St. Paul's. He said his goal is to play NCAA Division I football — the top level of U.S. college football. Most NFL players have played at this level of football.

"And if things don't work out on the American path, I can always come back to Canada and play university in Canada," he said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anjuli Patil

Reporter

Anjuli Patil is a reporter and occasional video journalist with CBC Nova Scotia's digital team.

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