Daniel Petermann of the Cardinal Newman Cardinals is known on the football field for a quick first step and his impressive ability to accelerate with the ball. Currently, however, he’s playing a waiting game to determine where he’ll be combining academics and athletics at the next level.
The talented slotback and kick returner says he’s looking into potential football scholarship offers in the United States before deciding where to go to school next September. If nothing develops south of the border, Petermann plans on attending the hometown university that recruited him – McMaster.
Daniel Petermann lifted Newman to a come-from-behind victory over St. Thomas More. (Photo: Gerry Graham)
“I’ve got some feedback from the States, Division II, Junior College and a bit of Division I,” Petermann said recently after playing high school soccer for the Cardinal Newman Express in a game at Redeemer University College against the Bishop Tonnos Titans. “So I’m going to attend some camps to see if I can get something for next year.
“The University of Buffalo is holding a one-day camp on June 9. I’ll go to it. They’ll do combine stuff like the 40 and the vertical. I’ll see if I can get on the radar with them.”
A solidly-built 6-foot, 208-pounder, Petermann also will travel to a camp run by Eastern Michigan University, in Ypsilanti – for the second consecutive year.
“If nothing works out (in the NCAA), I told Mac I would attend there,” he said.
Petermann, 17, has excelled in three Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic Athletic Association sports. In football, for example, he helped the Cardinals win back-to-back senior league championships. The most recent was last November at Ron Joyce Stadium when he booted a 14-yard field goal with 14.9 seconds remaining to lift Newman to a 23-21 come-from-behind victory over the St. Thomas More Knights.
The Cardinals were able to position themselves in field goal range on their final drive because Petermann beat triple coverage on a deep pass route to haul in a Jake Marquette toss for a 57-yard gain. And in the final minute of the first half, Petermann gave his team a spark (they fell behind 14-0) by returning a punt for a 90-yard touchdown.
“What can I say about Daniel,” Newman football coach Gord Chiarot said after the 2013 final against the previously unbeaten Knights. “He kept us in the first half single-handedly. Great plays are something we expect from Daniel game in and game out.”
Petermann, who turned in a four-touchdown performance during a 42-7 semi-final victory over the St. Jean de Brebeuf Braves, also played a key role in Newman’s 33-19 decision over More at the 2012 final. On that occasion, he caught TD passes of 13 and 46 yards.On the basketball court, Petermann’s position is forward. He was part of a stellar defence that a few months ago propelled undefeated Newman to its first OFSAA boys’ basketball championship tournament appearance in 38 years. That squad went on to bring home a bronze medal from the provincial competition.
Petermann can dunk a basketball. However, he is relied on more for his rebounding and defensive skills. Petermann was also a member of Newman’s 2012 HWCAA senior boys’ hoops title team.
In terms of soccer, Newman called up Petermann from the school’s junior team to take part in the provincial high school championships of 2011.
“He was on our junior team and he we brought him to OFSAA,” Newman coach Gerry Moretuzzo recalled. “He was a shutdown defender … similar to basketball.”
Newman’s CN Express rolled to the 2012 senior city soccer finals but was edged out, 1-0, by St. Thomas More. That snapped a 35-game Newman unbeaten streak. This season, Newman has begun the schedule with a win and a tie.
“I’ve played all three sports in high school,” Petermann said. “There’s no point in stopping now.”
Outside of high school, Petermann has been an all-star with the Hamilton Ironmen of the Ontario Varsity Football League. He also played for Team Ontario West at last summer’s Football Canada Cup in London, where he was selected an all-star and won the skills competition for catching.
Playing professional football is Petermann’s dream. And to assist in his physical and mental development, he’s working with a couple of former Canadian Football League players – Branko Vincic and Less Browne.
“Branko is a family friend who played D-I at Eastern Michigan and then for the Argos,” Petermann said. “He’s actually my trainer right now. And I know Less really well. He’s a Canadian Football Hall of Famer. I just started with him.”
Top-level competition began for Petermann when he won Canadian national flag football championships in grades 7 and 8. And, yes, that sport was beneficial to his progress in the tackle game.
Said Petermann: “I can shake, make a juke and spin. That’s where it helped me.”
Petermann’s sister, Alexandra, is already on scholarship south of the border. Two years ago she opted to accept a soccer offer at Northwestern State in Natchitoches, La. She, too, played in the HWCAA for Cardinal Newman.
Their cousin — Peter Guarasci – was a member of the Canadian national basketball team and competed at the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney.