Queen’s top-notch academics, football attract 2

Queen’s adds a local commit and an Ontario commit to their 2019 class.

Joey Cantarutti, a defensive lineman from Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School, and Justus Vasilakos-McRae, a linebacker from Holy Trinity Catholic High School, are coming for the academics, staying for the football after signing with the Queen’s Gaels.

Joey Cantarutti

With a commitment to Queen’s, Joey Cantarutti can marry his two passions. “As a musician, I have been involved in several school musical productions, (currently) play in my school’s jazz and symphonic ensembles and I am involved in community theatre,” he said. “I chose Queen’s because of the outstanding music program the university has to offer.”

On the football front, he said, “I have seen firsthand the team spirit, dedication and winning attitude of the Gaels football team. Queen’s is the perfect fit for me because of its outstanding facilities, supportive atmosphere, welcoming community and commitment to excellence.”

Cantarutti added that he is looking forward to working with Coach Snyder, Coach Bechmanis and the rest of the staff. “I am excited about the next direction the Gaels are taking,” he said.

The 6’1, 260lbs tackle isn’t the first member of his family to attend Queen’s. “I am proud to attend the university that my mother attended, and my sister currently attends,” he said.

Cantarutti’s career began in grade four. He played with the Holy Cross Crusaders (KASAA) and spent five years with the OPFL Kingston Grenadiers (which is now the Jr. Gaels) in his hometown of Kingston, Ontario. He is a four-time KASSAA champion from 2014 to 2018. He also won an EOSSAA championship and OFSAA Eastern Bowl in 2018. A year prior, he was the EOSSAA wrestling champion and KASSAA shotput champion. He also won offensive lineman of the year for the Crusaders in 2016 and the Grenadiers in 2017.

Justus Vasilakos-McRae

Justus Vasilakos-McRae knows that when he attends Queen’s, it won’t be a throwaway ride. “I chose Queen’s because of the high academic and athletic standards. I know that being a student-athlete at Queen’s will shape me into a responsible, disciplined and driven young man,” he said.

“The school is prestigious for its academics and storied football program and I feel as though there is no better place to be than a school where both grades and performance are held on a high pedestal,” he added. He is interested in psychology with a minor in health studies.

When it came to the environment, Vasilakos-McRae said that the support of the university and the town is second to none. “I immediately felt at home in Kingston,” he said. “There is something special happening for Queen’s football and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Vasilakos-McRae, who is 6’0, 210lbs, has been in contact with Ryan Bechmanis, the defensive coordinator, and Steve Snyder, current head coach, for the past few years. “These two familiar faces made me feel very comfortable,” he said.

“The rest of the coaches are all intelligent and great guys,” he added. “They are a tightly knit group and I search for that in a coaching staff, a family aspect. I look forward to developing into an even better player and learning form them in the years to come.”

Hailing from Oakville, Ontario, Vasilakos-McRae’s career has spanned five years. He has split that time between the Burlington Stampeders (OFC) and the Holy Trinity Titans (HCAA). He was a Halton champion in 2017 and a two-time HCAA all-star in 2017 and 2018. He helped the Stampeders win an OFC championship in 2015 and 2016. He was also a captain on both his teams.

Advocating for football prospects one story at a time.

Comments are closed.