Axemen camaraderie highlight for 3 defensive commits

Acadia brings in two Nova Scotia commits and one out-of-province commit to their Class of 2017.

Linebacker Thomas Tzagarakis and defensive back Noah Laing from Citadel High School already know one another, but now they will have a chance to meet Alex Lawrie, a quarterback from St. Peter Catholic High School, as the three join the Acadia Axemen for the 2017 season.

Thomas Tzagarakis

Courtesy of Thomas Tzagarakis.

After three years learning the trade with the Citadel Phoenix (Nova Scotia Schools Athletic Federation), Thomas Tzagarakis has high hopes for his future. “I think my next couple years at Acadia are going to be good ones because the coaches there are so friendly and I feel that I can learn a lot from them as a person and as a football player,” he said.

What also helped his soaring spirits is probably the fact that Acadia quickly welcomed him into the fold. “The people at Acadia made it feel like home and made me very welcome,” the product of Halifax, Nova Scotia, said.

Standing at 5’11, 195lbs, Tzagarakis never confined himself to one sport during his high school years. In his three years playing football, he won three back-to-back provincial champions. In the intermediary, the future engineering student played such sports as hockey, basketball and lacrosse. He also skied and sailed and is a co-president at his school.

Noah Laing

Courtesy of Noah Laing.

Tzagarakis will be joined by Phoenix teammate, Noah Laing. What caught Laing’s eye was more a mixture of community, aesthetics and academics. “I chose Acadia because they have a good group of guys on the team and they just built a new workout and locker room,” he said. “I also liked the small class sizes they have.”

Interested in Business, Laing will learn that how you interact with others is one of the most important factors in the trade. He has already had a chance to see how far communications can take you. “The coaches are really nice guys and have been straight-up with me throughout the recruiting process,” he said.

The six-year veteran from Halifax has also played on the U17 and U19 Peewee Raiders and the Bantam Argos. With a height of 6’0 and a weight of 175lbs, he has won three champions with the Phoenix and a National Flag Football championship. He was also a defensive MVP for the flag football edition of Team Nova Scotia and is a two-time Division 1 all-star.

Noah Laing makes the tackle. Courtesy of Noah Laing.

Alex Lawrie

Courtesy of Alex Lawrie.

While the two other commits are experienced in the ways of Nova Scotia, Alex Lawrie will be trekking into Wolfville from Ottawa, Ontario. But, it probably won’t take him too long to adjust to his new life.

“With so many recruits from the Ottawa area, I feel that I will settle in quickly,” he said. “The small community and camaraderie made me feel at home. The coaching staff did a great job of bringing me in and exposing me to the Acadia lifestyle.”

Having enrolled in Geology, Lawrie is excited to both earn a proper education and extend his football career. “Acadia is a great fit for my academic needs and I get the added bonus of playing football for a great organization,” he said.

Courtesy of Alex Lawrie.

It was last summer during a provincial rugby tournament that Lawrie first laid eyes on Acadia. “I was very impressed with what the coaches had to offer,” he said. “They do a great job of addressing academics and building around players that are going to make them successful.”

The 5’11, 190lbs quarterback has had an extensive career, having played four years with the Cumberland Panthers OVFL squad and six at the National Capital Amateur Football Association level. On top of that, he spent three years with the St. Peter Knights (National Capital Secondary School Athletic Association).

With this many years of playing under his belt, he has picked up his fair share of hardware. In 2011 and 2013, he won two NCAFA championships and was the 2013 championship MVP. He was back-to-back team MVP in 2013 and 2014. While with the Knights in 2014 and 2015, he won two AAA/AAA championships, capping off the latter with a championship MVP award. The same year, he was a high school all-star. This past season, he was the Knights’ MVP.

Even with all his success, Lawrie may have never stayed on the field if it wasn’t for his coach, Ian Michel. “He inspired me at a very young age to pursue football and to never give up on my dream,” he said, adding that he wishes to thank him.

Lawrie’s support networks only strengthened in high school. “I would like to thank my high school coach, Jim Mick, for helping me get to this point and putting me in a program where I could succeed,” he said.

Before he packs his bags for the U Sports league, Lawrie has another OVFL season with the Panthers to finish first. “I feel that Coach Ron Raymond can really help me get ready for the next level and our team is hungry and on the rise,” he said.

With all the buzz and excitement that has surrounded Lawrie as a late, there are two people in particular he couldn’t forget. “My parents have made the recruitment process easy for me and without them, I would be lost,’ he said. “Words cannot describe how thankful I am for them.”

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