Roy Dewalt - Quarterback - B.C.Lions - 1980-87 - Texas-Arlington
Roy Dewalt starred in college at quarterback with the University of Texas-Arlington. In 1978 and '79 he was named SLC offensive player of the year and is a member of the UTA athletic Hall of Fame. He was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the 9th round of the 1980 NFL draft. Instead instead of try-out for Clevelend out of position Dewalt signed with British Columbia in May of 1980 and attended camp that year as a quarterback. He saw limited action in 1980 behind starter Joe Paopao.
The 6'1" 210lb's spent 1981 as a backup and in 1982 entered a platoon situation with Joe Paopao. Roy emerged that season as a future star throwing 18 touchdowns against just 6 interceptions wrestling the starting spot away from Paopao. In 1983 former Edmonton assistant Don Matthews was named head coach and immediately declared Dewalt would be the teams starting quarterback. The confidence in Roy paid off as Dewalt led the league with a 62.6 passing percentage. B.C. finished first in the West in '83 with an 11-5 record, The Lions advance to the Grey Cup to be played at their new home stadium B.C. Place the Lions were edged 18-17 by Toronto but they would return to the big game.
Dewalt developed a chemistry with all-star receiver Mervyn Fernandez that would carry the Lions to a 12-3 record in 1984 and 13-3 record in 1985. Fernandez was named Most Outstanding Player in 1985 and B.C. advance to the Grey Cup against Hamilton in '85. An injury to Fernandez could not stop the Lions or Dewalt as B.C. defeated Hamilton 37-24 for the Lions 3rd Grey Cup Championship in their history. Ned Armour proved a capable replacement for Fernandez with 151 yards receiving for 2 touchdowns. It was the finest season in club history, attendance records were set and it was Roy Dewalt who was named Offensive Player of the game throwing for 394 yards and 3 touchdowns in the Grey Cup victory.
Roy had a great season in '86 eclipsing 4,000 yards passing for the second time in his career but the Lions were unable to repeat as champions and were defeated by Edmonton in the Western Final 41-5. 1987 would be Roy's final season with B.C. the club finished in first place with a 12-6 record but again were defeated soundly by Edmonton in the Western Final 31-7.
Roy was a free agent after the '87 season and the club wanted a new direction at quarterback, they traded for rival quarterback Matt Dunigan out from under the Edmonton Eskimos then signed Dunigan to a big contract and severed ties with Dewalt. Roy moved on to sign with Winnipeg and injuries affected his stay with Winnipeg, he was traded to Ottawa late in the season and retired following the 1988 season. It was a disappointing end to an outstanding career. Roy Dewalt was a marvel for the British Columbia Lions in the 1980's. The club enjoyed unparalleled success with Dewalt at the helm and his contributions were immense to some outstanding teams.