CFC100, Husker and Grizzly now members of Thunderbirds

UBC welcomes 3 more to their team.

Keenan Godden, a slot back from W.J. Mouat Secondary, CFC100  Sharique Khan, a running back from Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School and Gabriel Oliveras, a quarterback from G.W. Graham High School, will be spending the next couple years by the ocean after signing with the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds.

Keenan Godden

Courtesy of Keenan Godden.

Courtesy of Keenan Godden.

Keenan Godden has a parental connection with UBC. “My dad attended UBC and was a remarkable multiform athlete, I just want to follow in his footsteps a little bit, but create my own path with football,” he said.

It wasn’t just creating a legacy of his own that prompted Godden to join the Thunderbirds. “UBC has been very successful these past few years and I wanted to be a part of this growing team,” he said. “I admire the tenacity of Head Coach Blake Nill. Just from the few times we’ve talked I could tell that he’s a straight shooter and a man of principle. He knows what he wants and he’ll do anything to get it.”

The W.J. Mouat Hawk (BC Secondary Schools Football Association) has yet to win any recent awards. However, the 6’2, 190lbs future kinesiology student was ranked second in the BC Football Conference for reception yards this year.

Godden spent three years with the Valley Huskers (CJFL). He will be joining the Thunderbirds with a little chip on his shoulder. The product of Abbotsford, BC said that, “I just want to play U Sports football. And coming from a Jr team that struggled these past 5 years, I want to make my mark on U Sports football.”


Sharique Khan

Sharique Khan and Head Coach Nill. Courtesy of Sharique Khan.

Sharique Khan and Head Coach Nill. Courtesy of Sharique Khan.

For Sharique Khan, choosing UBC was a decision fueled by more than just football. “Head Coach Nill has proven to do a great job off the football felid in making sure guys come out of university with a degree in their hands and guys reaching their full potential not only as a football player, but assuring they leave as mature young adults with important life skills that will help us in our day to day routine,” he said. “I’m interested in kinesiology because of the exciting things you can learn and apply to your football life and day to day world.”

“Coach Nill is a winner and he’s building a culture at UBC. I know the level of talent there and that only means more competition and competitiveness on the field, weight room and even classroom. I know everything I do will be hard earned,” he added.

It’s this competitive drive that has intrigued Khan. “Even if I do play or get a starting job, Coach Nill will never make me feel like my spot is safe and that no ones coming to take my job. This brings a raw competitive nature out of everyone and will only make the team better,” he said.

While Coach Nill drew Khan in, he felt the rest of the coaching staff measures up to the level set by Nill. “The staff is filled with qualified members who have a lot of football history as well as knowledge and years of experience. From the first impression of Coach Nill, he’s the type of coach that is going to bring people who want to win and succeed just as much as he does, so I know every person on that coaching staff is special,” he said.

The 5’11, 200lbs dual running back and linebacker spent his time with the Holy Trinity Knights (Western Alberta 6-Man High School Football League). While he is from Mississauga, Ontario, he spent most of his life in Fort McMurray, Alberta. There, he also played with the Fort McMurray Ravens (Alberta Football League). He has won three city championships in grade nine, ten, and 11, was a five-time MVP and a league MVP.

“I wouldn’t have been here without the love and support of my family and two special individuals in my football career, my head coach, Kwame Osei, and individual coach and trainer, Kareem Blake,” Khan said.

Gabriel Olivares
Gabriel Olivares from Chilliwack, BC is just a short trip away from Abbostford and an hour and a half drive from the UBC campus. Standing at 5’11, 200lbs, he spent his high school career with the G.W. Graham Grizzlies (BCSSFA). He is originally from Texas and moved to Canada in grade two. By grade six, he had hit the gridiron and never looked back. He has had his eyes set on UBC for a while and is considering pursuing an engineering or science degree.


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