Carleton Ravens offer ‘new start’ for commits

Ravens bring in two out-of-province commits and one Ontario commit to their Class of 2017.

Hope, change and fresh beginnings, those are the themes that tie together defensive lineman Steve Boka from Campus Notre-Dame-de-Foy, defensive end Darnell Barnaby from Paul Dwyer High School and quarterback Devin Desormeau from École Secondaire Notre Dame High School as they are set to start the next phase of their journey with the Carleton Ravens.

Steve Boka

Courtesy of Steve Boka

Steve Boka will be looking to shed the past when he joins the Ravens this fall. In 2014, he played with Les Nomades du Collège Montmorency (RSEQ Division 1) before playing the next two years with Les Sabrecats ARFLL (Québec Junior Football League). “I chose Carleton because I wanted to make a new start for my career and I found my place there,” Boka said.

“I really like the coaching staff and I think they can help me to use my full potential,” the future psychology student added. Standing at 6’1, 293lbs, he is originally from Blaineville, Québec.

Darnell Barnaby

Courtesy of Darnell Barnaby

It is no easy task playing a sport with an underlying medical condition, but that won’t be slowing down Darnell Barnaby anytime soon. On November 1, 2013, his life changed dramatically after being diagnosed with type one diabetes. Having played football since he was nine years old, he had a tough decision to make.

“I took two years away from football to focus on getting healthy and ensuring my performance was never effected,” Barnaby said. “Being able to come back in my senior year and play as well as I did made the time away from the sport I love completely worth it.”

Now, the former Paul Dryer Saints (Lake Ontario Secondary School Association) is looking to make a similar impact with a team he quickly fell in love with. “I decided to commit to Carleton on the same day I got there. I don’t know what exactly it was, but for me, it just felt like home,” Barnaby said.

Prior to his visit, Defensive Coordinator Bechmanis and Offensive Coordinator Asselin paid him a visit at his house. “The second we started talking, I started realizing that these are the guys that are going to help me get better and give me my best shot at taking my football career to the pro level one day,” Barnaby said.

“After meeting with Coach Bechmanis and Asselin, I couldn’t feel more comfortable with the coaching staff at Carleton. That was until I met with Head Coach Sumarah on my visit,” he added. “Every member o the staff was amazing, from Wayne the equipment manager to Nick Westcott, the strength and conditioning coach, and to the boss man himself, Coach Sumarah.”

With a school that he adored and a staff he felt comfortable with, Barnaby said he got the sense that Carleton would be the best place for him to excel academically and athletically. He will be taking criminology with the goal of becoming a police officer. “With my uncle being a cop for the Metro region, I feel comfortable and excited to be following in his footsteps while also keeping an open mind to changing my career path later down the road,” he added.

Prior to his high school days, Barnaby suited up for the Oshawa Hawkeyes. In 2013, he and the Saints almost had an undefeated season. They capped it off with a LOSSA championship and a showing in the Metrobowl. The 6’4, 210lbs product of Oshawa, Ontario, added that winning LOSSA again in his senior year is one of his best memories to date.

Devin Desormeau

Courtesy of Devin Desormeau.

The Carleton Ravens have improved quite a bit since their reincarnation in 2013 and recruits have taken notice. “There is an atmosphere of winning within the team and the football program has been consistently getting better each year since its re-inauguration into the league,” Devin Desormeau said.

“I want to be apart of that winning culture. The campus is beautiful and the facilities are high-end, which I found really appealing,” he added.

Originally from Red Deer, Alberta, Desormeau was given a clear picture of what the Ravens coaching staff had to offer him. “They are very knowledge and they’re all a bunch of great guys,” he said. “I really enjoyed being with then on my visit and I’m certain they’re going to help me become a better football player.”

The 6’1, 190lbs future criminology student has the hopes of entering law after university. He has played two seasons with the Notre Dame Cougars (Central Alberta Schools Athletics Association) and two with the Prairie Fire midget football (Calgary Area Midget Football Association). His career has spanned over seven years. In 2016, he was a Division 1 all-star, a CASAA champion and an Alberta North finalist.

“I would just like to thank God and all my coaches, family, teammates and friends that have helped me throughout the years to become the person and football player I am today,” Desormeau said. “I am looking forward to being a Raven.”

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