Acadia’s small-town charm draws in 3

Acadia adds three out-of-province commits to their Class of 2017.

It can be difficult sometimes to adjust to the pace of a smaller community, but that probably won’t be a problem for the Acadia Axemen’s most recent commits, linebacker Darcy Thibaudeau from John Abbot College, FPC running back Brandon McDonald from Renfrew College Institute and tight end William Taras from Vancouver College.

Jeff Cummins, Acadia’s head coach, is exciting to have these three join his team. “We’ve been in the process of recruiting these guys for a long time, and they all have signed on the bottom line. Brandon and Will are two more pieces that will take our offence to another level next year in the backfield and at the half back position,” he said.

Recruiting, however, is a team effort. Cummins added that, “Everyone associated with our football program, recent and past, has done a great job to bring great talent from across the country and this entire class fits right in with the culture of Axemen student/athletes already on campus. It’s been an up and down 2017 Winter but I believe the recruiting class we have, along with the veterans returning from injury, equals a lot to get excited about this fall.”

Darcy Thibaudeau

Courtesy of Darcy Thibaudeau.

For Darcy Thibaudeau, Nova Scotia isn’t just a four or five-year trip. After earning a kinesiology degree from Acadia, he plans on taking a postgraduate degree in physiotherapy at Dalhousie. It’s a good thing that he is already falling for the east coast.

“I love the small-town feeling (of Acadia), the small class room sizes, which will give me a better learning experience and of course the football team and the opportunity I have there,” Thibaudeau said. “The coaches are very enthusiastic and welcoming. I also appreciate their focus on education as the most important thing.”

Originally from Saint-Lazare, Québec, he spent ten years with the St. Lazare Stallions and two with the John Abbott Islanders (RSEQ Division 1). The 6’0, 200lbs middle linebacker was a 2011 Division 2 champion with the Stallions. While with the Islanders, he won the “All Blue” award for the hardest working player on the team. He was also nominated for special teams player of the year.

The young linebacker has already drawn the praise of his soon-to-be head coach. “Darcy is a multi talented linebacker, who I know will come in and battle right away on specials within a very talented linebacker group,” Cummins said.

Brandon McDonald

Courtesy of Brandon McDonald.

Brandon McDonald understands small-town living. Hailing from Renfrew, Ontario, which is outside Ottawa, he was drawn to Acadia because of its familiarity. “I chose to commit to Acadia because as soon as I stepped on campus, I felt like I was at home. I love the small-town atmosphere and I love the east coast,” McDonald said.

The future kinesiology student added that the coaching staff is “great, extremely welcoming and supportive.”

Standing at 5’11, 220lbs, he spent four years with the Renfrew Collegiate Institute Raiders (Upper Ottawa Valley High School Athletics Association). After three with the Nepean Eagles, he played one season with the Myers Riders (OVFL) last summer. This summer, he will be joining the Ottawa Sooners (CJFL). In 2016, he joined Team Ontario in the International Bowl in Texas.

“I’m very thankful for everyone that has gotten me this far,” McDonald said. “I can’t wait to start my next chapter on the east coast.”

William Taras

Courtesy of Jeff Cummins.

William Taras will have a long flight from his hometown of South Surrey, BC, to Nova Scotia. The 6’1, 215lbs tight end and slot back played with the Vancouver College Fighting Irish (BC Secondary Schools Athletic Association). In 2016, his team came second in the AAA championship.

“Acadia has a vibrant university community that I am excited to be a part of, and it is known for its strong reputation in athletics nationwide,” Taras said.

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