From Kenya to Canada: Ngeywa now brings his athletic talent to another prairie province

Kenya native Collins Ngeywa had never played football before coming to Canada, but soon discovered a love of the game. 

Collins Ngeywa

Positions: 
Defensive End, Defensive Tackle

Height/Weight: 
6’4, 254 lbs

 Teams:
Grant Park Pirates (high school:  WHSFL)

Commitment:
Alberta

Class: 
2013

Originally from the town of Eldoret in Western Kenya, Collins relocated to Winnipeg in 2010. At his friends’ urging, he put his previous experience in soccer and rugby to use on the football field and tried out for the Grant Park Pirates. He says he owes a lot to his coach, Doug Kovaks.

“I had never seen a football before in my life,” Collins recalls. “He was patient with me, taught me to put on pads.”

“With the help of my teammates, bit by bit I was on the field.”

A year later, Collins was a starter on the defensive line. Putting up a 9 -1 record on the 2011 season, the Pirates would go on to take home the championship title.

“We were the underdogs coming into the game, since our history showed Grant Park had never won the championship ever,” Collins recalls of the final. “I started as a rookie defensive lineman and also won a title.

“Only a few football players get to enjoy that opportunity their whole high school career.”

The Pirates put up the same regular season record in 2012, but missed out on a second  championship by a field goal. Despite the disappointment, Collins had an explosive, yet successful season.

“Scouts were happy with the way I had grown to a good player in a short period of time,” he says.

Though several CIS teams expressed interest in him, Collins decided to head west to the University of Alberta, and will be donning the green and gold in the fall. Alongside football, he plans to study business. The quality of the school’s Business program and the new coaching staff were the two main reasons why Collins decided the University of Alberta was the right fit for him.

Collins credits a lot of his success to  a group of coaches that have experience in professional football.

“I train with young coaches who are playing or having played in the CFL,” he says. “They have really helped my game improve.”

One of those coaches is Eddie Steele, current CFL player and Winnipeg native who coaches Collins and the other defensive linemen.

Though football has become his main focus, Collins still enjoys soccer and rugby. While he looks forward to his time as Golden Bear, he will play for Team Laping in the Manitoba Senior Bowl on May 25th.

“I am a simple, humble kid and I always give it 100 percent,” Collins says. “I am still learning the game but I know my future is bright if I keep my head focused.”

 

 

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