For commits, UBC is like a ‘professional team’

One local high schooler and one out-of-province CJFLer join UBC.

Defensive lineman Carlo De Coste from Notre Dame Regional Secondary School and defensive back James Ens from Bev Facey Community High may be at different points in their football journey, but the two share something in common, both are excited for the opportunity to play for the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds.

Carlo De Coste

Courtesy of Carlos de Coste.

Carlo De Coste needs no introduction to the beautiful city of Vancouver, BC. Indeed, he is originally from the city and knows some of its football practitioners already. He said that he knows multiple people on the Thunderbirds’ roster and the coaching staff. When he came for a visit, he added that everyone was all so welcoming.

“The football program here is topnotch and I love what Head Coach Hill has done with the Thunderbirds,” De Coste said. “He has a very professional approach to his team and in many aspects. It’s as if you were playing on a professional sports team.”

Standing at 6’0, 280lbs, the tackle is ready to sharpen his skills. He said that Coach Tracey is brilliant when it comes to running the defense and that Coach McCullen has everyone in top shape year-round.

Unsure as to whether he should take Business or Kinesiology, De Coste is using first year as a feeling out period. He said that he will see what major catches his attention most before committing to one in second year.

In his six years playing, De Coste has been apart of the Notre Dame Jugglers (BC Secondary Schools Football Association) and the Burnaby Lions (Burnaby Minor Football Association). He is a former member of Team BC where he played in the summer of 2013 and the winter and summer of 2014.

In grade eight, he was a provincial champion and the game’s most outstanding lineman. He almost captured another provincial title in grade ten. The following year, he was the Archbishop’s Cup most outstanding lineman and an all-star. In grade 12, he earned another all-star honours and was a provincial championship runner-up.

Before he heads off on his new journey, De Coste has something to say to his biggest supporters. “I would like to give a shout-out to my loving and supporting mother,” he said. “And a shout-out to my teammates because from the constant years of pushing my everyday at practice, this commitment wouldn’t be possible.”

James Ens

Courtesy of James Ens.

Playing in the U Sports league has been a longstanding goal of James Ens. After three years of playing with the Edmonton Wildcats (CJFL), it probably felt like his time was running out.

“I know they have openings for defensive backs, which provides me (with) an exceptional opportunity to come in and make a difference in the field, something important to me since I’ve already played three years in the CJFL,” Ens said.

Hailing from Sherwood Park, Alberta, Ens was drawn over the provincial lines by the prestige of the school’s academics and football team. He said that athletically, the Thunderbirds program is very successful and competitive.

“The coaching staff I have had limited contact with,” Ens said. “But from what I have seen, they’re very focused and committed to the goal of winning a national championship.”

The 6’0, 185lbs halfback has played one year with the Sherwood Park Rams before spending three seasons with the Bev Facey Falcons (Metro Edmonton High School League). In 2011, he was the junior defensive back of the year. In 2013, he was the senior defensive back of the year. He is also a back-to-back city champion. This past season, he was the recipient of Al Park scholarship.

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