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John Decoste
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Defensive end Melanson wins national football competition

Adam Melanson won The Twelfth Man, a high school football competition consisting of 12 players from across the country. The Grade 12 student is weighing his options for next year with the possibility of attending a prep school in the United States.

By John DeCoste


Adam Melanson’s football stock is on the rise after turning some heads at a pair of high-profile events south of the border.

For the Grade 12 Horton student it is a huge step towards his dream of someday playing professional football.

An all-star with the Griffins the past three seasons, Melanson is considered the top high school football prospect in Nova Scotia and one of the top in Canada.

Late last year, he was selected as one of 12 Canadian high school football players to take part in a competition called The Twelfth Man, scheduled to be televised this month in Canada.

“All 12 players had already been selected all-stars at the Football Canada Cup, so I was in pretty good company,” Melanson said.

The Twelfth Man took place Jan. 3 to 9 in San Antonio, Texas. The 12 competitors got to show their football skills in a number of categories.

Melanson’s stock took another jump when he won the competition.

“It was really well-organized,” he said. “Everyone was treated like we were something special. The 11 other guys were all in the same position as me, and I made some really good friends.”

As the winner, Melanson gets a chance to compete at the East-West All-American Game in San Antonio.

“It’s really cool stuff,” he admitted. “Some pretty big names have played in the All-American game.”

Though he is confident in his football abilities, coming out on top blew Melanson away.

“It’s surreal that I won,” he said, adding, “we had to sign a waiver not to make it public until after the broadcast on Feb. 4.”

If that wasn’t enough, Melanson also found out late last year he had been nominated for the International Federation of American Football U-20 World Development team.

He was only back from Texas for about a week when he was off again, this time to Austin, TX for a world development team training camp, held to determine the final four spots on the team.

“I don’t know who nominated me, it was done anonymously,” he said. “It’s really neat all the stuff that’s happening to me, and it’s happening so fast.

“It’s very humbling to be selected for these kinds of opportunities, and to get a chance to prove I can play at this level. I’m out to make the best of it.”

Though he has the support of both parents and his three brothers, Adam describes his dad Steve as “my biggest influence in football. There’s no way I would be where I am today without him.”

Steve Melanson, a former player at Acadia and a long-time football coach at various levels (he is currently defensive co-ordinator at Horton) accompanied his son to Texas.

“We’ve been looking at Adam’s success from a family point of view,” he said. “One of the options we’re looking at is to enroll him in a prep school in the U.S. this coming fall for a Grade 13 year.

“Up here,” he said, “Adam gets to do something like this once. In the States, there are a bunch of Adams, and they get to play against each other all the time.”

Adam admits he is “entertaining the idea” of prep school.

“I’d like to go as far as I can with football, and I like the idea of this path as a means of playing at the highest level I can.

“I have lots of options open to me, and after an extra year, I feel I’ll be that much more mature, both as a person and as a football player.”

While he was in San Antonio, Steve got to talk with a lot of pretty high-level football people, including Thurman Moore, a coach with the football university program who is more than familiar with Adam.

“Coach Moore believes in me,” Adam said. “He feels I can play division 1 university football in the U.S. He’s been a positive influence, and he’s said a lot of positive things.”

Adam and another of the Twelfth Man finalists also got to do a two-hour session with Rex Norris, a long-time defensive line coach in the NFL.

“I’m a dad from North Alton, Nova Scotia,” Steve said. “To hear people of the calibre of Rex Norris and Thurman Moore talking about my son in such glowing terms is pretty special.”





Adam Melanson’s football highlights:

2004 to 2007 – Valley Peewee Bulldogs, won rookie of the year, lineman of the year, most valuable player awards.

2008 – Valley Bantam Bulldogs, chosen lineman of the year; provincial and Maritime champion.

2009 – Horton Griffins, Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Football League (NSSAFFL) rookie of the year; NSSAFFL second team all-star

2010 (summer) – Team Nova Scotia, Football Canada Cup, Wolfville.

2010 – Horton Griffins, team MVP; co-winner, NSSAFFL lineman of the year; NSSAFFL first team all-star.

2011 (summer) – Team Nova Scotia, Football Canada Cup, Lethbridge, AB; tournament all-star; defensive MVP, Football University Camp.

2011 – NSSAFFL co-league MVP; NSSAFFL first-team all-star at both defensive end and fullback.

2012 – Chosen to appear on The Twelfth Man TV show; nominated for IFAF U-20 World Development Team; attended World Development Team training camp, Austin, TX.  




Who: Adam Melanson

Hometown: North Alton

Sport: Football

Position: Defensive lineman

Height/weight: 6'2'', 250 lb.


“It’s very humbling to be selected for these kinds of opportunities, and to get a chance to prove I can play at this level. I’m out to make the best of it.”


Organizations: Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Football League, International Federation of American Football U-20 World Development , Football University Camp.2011 IFAF U-20 World Development Team; attended World Development Team

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, San Antonio, Texas, Canada Canada.Late Austin, TX. U.S. North Alton

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