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Former South Delta football star taking his CFL career to "Steeltown"

A memorable stint playing football in Alberta is over for Tsawwassen's Grant McDonald following a trade on Monday
Grant McDonald traded
A former South Delta Sun Devils football star is taking his career to Hamilton.

A former South Delta Sun Devils football star is taking his career to the “Steeltown."

Grant McDonald, a key member of the SDSS 2014 provincial “AAA” championship team, was traded by the Edmonton Elks to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Monday. The 22-year-old 6-foot-3 235-pound linebacker is coming off an impressive CFL rookie season, registering 16 special team tackles in 14 games.

Offensive lineman Kyle Saxelid is also headed to Hamilton in a complex deal that included multiple picks in the 2022 CFL Draft, including the No. 8 and No. 28 picks heading back to Edmonton.

“This wasn’t an overnight deal,” said Hamilton president of football operations and head coach Orlando Steinhauer. “Grant is a player we had targeted and in order to get something good we have to give up something good.

“It’s a good deal for us and the direction that we are headed with Grant fitting the mold. He is a highly productive and competitive athlete that we are excited to have here in Hamilton.”

The trade caught McDonald off guard.

He had leased an apartment in Edmonton for the upcoming season with training camp just days away.

Still, it’s an opportunity he’s excited about with the Tiger-Cats looking to make another run back to the Grey Cup.

“I had no idea up until last night (Monday), but you have to take these things in stride. That’s pro sports,” said McDonald who is now going to be apartment hunting in Hamilton with Saxelid.

“You know they are a terrific organization that has a solid team. It’s exciting to be going to a franchise that obviously is shooting to win a championship this coming season.”

McDonald was a three-year starter for the Sun Devils, highlighted by the championship run in his Grade 10 year when he played both running back and linebacker. He scored a pair of touchdowns in South Delta’s 55-30 win over Mt. Doug in the title game at B.C. Place. His older brother Jack was another key member who captained the team in his Grade 12 year.

Grant went on to earn a scholarship to Maine University where he was recruited to play tight end. After one season, he returned north of the border and was reunited with Jack at the University of Calgary where he switched to defence and was a major force at linebacker. His time with the Dinos was highlighted by a Vanier Cup win in 2019.

He lost his final season of university eligibility due to COVID cancelling the 2020 campaign. Grant was then selected 14th overall by the Elks in the 2021 CFL Draft.