Flurry of commits, drawn by opportunity, heading to York Lions

York welcomes five Ontario commits to their Class of 2017.

When linebacker Andrew Batman from Superior Heights Collegiate and defensive back Lesean Betton from St. Roch Catholic Secondary School step out onto the field with the York Lions, they have the opportunity to not only make a name for themselves, but also for the up-and-coming team.

Offensive lineman Nicholas Lichacz from Michael Powers High School and defensive linemen James Kypreos from St. Thomas of Villanova College and Muhammad Ali from Nelson High School have also committed to York.

Andrew Batman

Courtesy of Andrew Batman.

The prospect of playing time and development is a strong motivating factor. It was strong enough to draw Andrew Batman from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, to the metropolis that is Toronto.

“York is young and talented, so I think I can compete for minutes my first two years and I trust the development process over there,” Batman said. “I really think they’re going to be a contender soon. I’m also a big fan of their campus.”

While Batman has yet to meet the entire coaching staff, he knows Lions’ Head Coach Craney. “He is a highly-regarded coach and has been building York for years now, along with helping coach the junior international team,” Batman said.

The 6’2, 200lbs linebacker added that York has one of the best kinesiology programs in the province.

Starting football at the age of eight, Batman has had a career ten years in the making. For the past three years, he was played for the Superior Heights Steelhawks (Northern Ontario Secondary School Association). In that time, he was a three-time NOSSA champion. In 2014, he won an OFSAA championship. He has also played five years with the Sault Sabercats (Sault Minor Football League).

Lesean Betton

Courtesy of Lesean Betton.

There is a difference between needing and wanting. You can want, but not need. However, there is nothing quite like feeling both. “I chose York because they have shown a lot of interest in me and I wanted to play for a university where I felt needed, not just wanted,” Lesean Betton said.

“On my visit, the team and the coaches were very welcoming. They have a tremendous coaching staff who has great interest in their players,” the potential criminal law or sociology student added.

From grade nine to 11, Betton played with the Robert F. Hall Wolfpack (Region of Peel Secondary School Athletic Association). In his senior year, he joined the St. Roch Ravens (ROPSSAA). Hailing from Brampton, Ontario, the 6’0, 167lbs athlete also played with the Brampton Bulldogs (OVFL).

In 2013, he won a ROPSSAA final with the Wolfpack. Two years later, he won a OFSAA final with the Ravens and was named the most improved player in his senior year. In 2013 and 2014, he competed in the GTA vs GHR game. This past season, he partook in a Super-elite camp.

Nicholas Lichacz
Nicholas Lichacz is 6’2, 290lbs and is from Toronto, Ontario. In 2016, he attended an OFSAA Bowl with his high school team, the Michael Power-St. Joseph Trojans (Toronto District Catholic Athletic Association). They fell short to St. Matthews.

James Kypreos
James Kypreos is a 6’4, 225lbs defensive end and tackle from Richmond Hill, Ontario, which is north of Toronto. He played for the York Region Lions (OVFL) from 2015 to 2016. His high school team is the Villanova College Knights (Conference of Independent Schools of Ontario). He was a member of the 2016 U17 edition of Team Ontario that participated in the International Bowl in Texas.

Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali stands at 6’2, 220lbs and will be trekking into Toronto from his hometown of Burlington, Ontario. He played with the Nelson Lords (Halton Secondary Schools Athletic Association), the team that won the 2016 OFSAA Golden Horseshoe Bowl.

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