Gold rush (VIDEO)

Ontario & BC standouts newest recruits to join OUA team’s 2014 class.

Two Ontario and one British Columbia standouts are among the newest recruits to join the Queen’s Golden Gaels.

Jake Firlotte, Palmer Simpson and Charlie Keenan recently committed to the OUA team for the 2014 season.


The 6’4, 210 pound defensive back from Abbotsford, British Columbia will move to Kingston, Ontario to further his gridiron and academics endeavours.

“I chose Queen’s because they’re a top school in both academics and football,” explained Firlotte of his decision.   “The sense of family from what I’ve seen already get me very excited to go, along with the top in the country coaching staff.”

“There has been a few Mouat Alumni that have attended Queen’s and I have only heard great things about the school. I can’t wait to be a Golden Gael this coming year!”

Firlotte comes to the Golden Gaels after completing his high school career with W.J. Mouat Hawks of the British Columbia High School Football Association (BCHSFA).  In 2013, he registered 20 tackles, caught six interceptions and returned an interception for a touchdown as a defensive back.  Additionally, he amassed 716 receiving yards on 33 receptions and scored 14 touchdowns as a receiver.  For his exceptional play on the field, Firlotte was selected as a BCHSFA All-Star at the receiver position.  The previous year, he received another All-Star selection, this time at the defensive back position.

As for the Golden Gaels, the team is thrilled to have a new addition from the West Coast with tremendous playmaking abilities.

“We have enjoyed very great recruiting run at WJ Mouat Secondary,” commented Golden Gaels Head Coach Pat Sheahan.  “Jake is another high academic with great size (6’4 /210).”

“He is big, athletic, nasty guy defensive back who also had a great run at Mouat as an inside receiver. He has a tremendous field presence and makes plays and is a great addition to our club.”

Charlie Keenan


It is very simplistic why the 5’11, 185 pound running back from Ottawa, Ontario signed with the Golden Gaels.

“I committed to Queen’s because of its outstanding academic and athletic reputation, as well as its beautiful campus and community,” said Keenan.

Among the teams that Keenan has suited up for include the Bell Warriors, Bel-Air Norsemen of the National Capital Amateur Football Association (NCAFA) and the Ottawa Myers Riders of the Ontario Varsity Football League (OVFL).

“Charlie is a great all round athlete and a great student,” added Sheahan.  “He has been an impact player at every level he has competed at.”

“He brings speed and athleticism to the Gaels.”

Palmer Simpson


It was an easy decision for the 6’2, 230 pound defensive end from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario to commit to the Kingston, Ontario school.

“The coaches are very personable, they treat everyone with a lot of respect and from the first time I spoke to Coach (Pat) Tracey I felt like I was a part of the family,” reflected Simpson.  “After my first visit to Queen’s, I fell in love with the school and after speaking with all the coaches I knew it was the right fit for me.”

“The first time I met Coach Sheahan he didn’t treat me as just another recruit; he actually invested his time into getting to know me. It was the same with all the other coaches as they treated me with respect and they cared enough to get to know me. Each year that I’ve watched CIS football, Queen’s has always been in the Top five in the nation and defensively one of the best in the country.  I am very excited for my chance to play for an extremely successful school. Queen’s University not only cares about athletics but they are very high on academic success. Overall, Queen’s was an easy choice, no other school compared to it. I owe my high school coaches and my OVFL coaches great thanks for their support, I am looking forward to the great coaching I will be getting at Queen’s.”

Recently, Simpson finished his high school career with Superior Heights Steelhawks of the Northern Ontario Secondary School Association (NOSSA).  This past season, the Ontario defensive standout registered 47 tackles, 9.5 sacks, one forced fumble, caught an interception and scored a touchdown in six games for the Steelhawks. Moreover, Simpson has suited up for the Sault Sabrecats of the Ontario Varsity Football League (OVFL).  During his time with the Sabrecats, he was selected twice as an OVFL All-Star.

Ultimately, this commitment is a dream realized for Simpson, who at one point in his career thought it was not possible due to adversity he faced.

“In the 2013 summer season, I severely broke my Talus,” recalled the defensive end. “I was told I wouldn’t play football again but I came back after a lot of physiotherapy and we won the league championship.”

“It is a great accomplishment to be realizing my dream of playing CIS football, especially after being told I wasn’t going to be able to play again.”

With this signing, the Golden Gaels continues to keep a couple of traditions strong. Furthermore, the team is looking forward to having him in the fold.

“Queen’s has a legacy of recruiting great players from Northern Ontario,” commented Sheahan.  “Palmer is a rugged defensive lineman with good size, range and smarts.”

“He is a great student and a great addition to what looks to be a great recruiting year on defense.”


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