SMU ‘community’ draws four

SMU adds one provincial commit and three out-of-province commits to their team.

When Logan Jeffries, a defensive tackle from Millwood High School, and Jake Simpson, a linebacker form Huron Heights Secondary School, talked to the Saint Mary’s University Huskies, they were welcomed with open arms.

Linebackers Jonathan Cimankinda from the Ottawa Sooners and Jericho Daher from Huron Heights Secondary School will also be joining the Huskies.

Logan Jeffries

Courtesy of Logan Jeffries.

As a resident of Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia, Logan Jeffries is only 30 minutes away from the university. He has been watching the Huskies for a while now. “I chose Saint Mary’s because it’s close to my community and I have always wanted to play for SMU since I started football,” he said.

“The coaching staff showed interest in me a lot and clearly sees potential in me. I felt like not too many coaches ever showed me affection like that before, which made me want to join the SMU family to continue my football career,” he added.

During the Huskies season, Jeffries could be found sitting in the stands watching his future team play. “Head Coach Colzie seems like an outstanding coach and an awesome guy. I went to a lot of games and he always gets right in the game, always celebrating with the players and congratulating them, which I think a head coach should always do,” he said.

While he has yet to meet Coach Burris, Jeffries said that he hears he is a tough, but good, coach, which he believes will help him improve his skills. On the opposite side, he said Coach Wakeling is a nice, easygoing guy who “seems like he would push players to continue to get better. I can’t wait to work with them all.”

Jeffries is interested in taking criminology with the aspiration of pursuing a career in law. While he doesn’t wish to be a police officer or lawyer, he would like to become a probation officer, sheriff or something related to that field.

For three years, Jeffries, who is 6’3, 295lbs, was a member of the peewee and bantam versions of the Bedford Sackville Saints (Nova Scotia Football League). He also spent three years with the Millwood High School Knights (Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Football League). He was the Saints’ 2014 top lineman. He is also a two-time Division 2 all-star in 2016 and 2017. In 2015, he was a Second Team all-star and the Knights’ rookie of the year. Last season, he was the NSSAFFL lineman of the year.

Jake Simpson

By no means does Jake Simpson come from a large community. His hometown of Mount Albert, Ontario, has a population of around 4,000 people. Used to small towns, when he attends SMU, he probably won’t feel overwhelmed. “The school is really cool and how everything is close, it feels like it’s a small town just like where I’m from,” Simpson said. “Everyone I met there was really nice and overall a great community.”

Simpson added that he chose the Huskies because “they are giving me a chance to play for one of the best teams in the AUS. The coaching staff is truly great, like they treat you like family and they really want to see you succeed in both football and school. Also, they know what they’re doing in how to play both the team and I better.”

The 6’1, 215lbs middle linebacker spent two years with the Newmarket Bucs (OVFL) and five years with the Huron Heights Warriors (York Region Athletic Association). He is a former rookie of the year with the Bucs. He also won a junior defensive MVP award and was the Warriors’ 2017 defensive MVP. He is interested in taking a bachelor of arts.

A fifth-year student at Huron Heights, Simpson has a few people he would like to thank for helping him get through the season. “I want to thank the fifth-years on the Huron Heights football team. They have been through blood, sweat and tears with me, that being Quinn, Andrew, Bill, Mack, Goodall, Jericho, AK and Daniel,” he said. “Also, the great coaching staff I had at Huron Heights, including Coach Rover, Coach Weir and Coach John.”

Simpson would also like to thank everyone who has helped him reach this point, his brothers Matt and Mark, his sisters Sam and Becky and his mother and stepfather, Darlene and Blaine. He said that, “My family has done everything to support me.”

Jonathan Cimankinda

Standing at 5’11, 185lbs, Jonathan Cimankinda has been playing with the Ottawa Sooners (CJFL) in his hometown of Ottawa, Ontario. He is a two-way player, having suited up as both a running back and a linebacker.

Jericho Daher

Jericho Daher is from Keswick, Ontario, where he has played with the York Region Lions (OVFL) and the Huron Heights Warriors (YRAA). Last season, he was named as the league’s most valuable player and he made the all-star team. Daher, who is 6’2, 190lbs, is a dual-threat, playing as both a running back and linebacker. Offensively, he rushed for 576 yards on 59 carries last season. He also scored four touchdowns. As a linebacker, he had 32 tackles and a touchdown.

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