StFX has ‘family feel’ says commits

St. FX brings in an out-of-province commit and a local commit to their Class of 2017.

While quarterback Michael Beale from W.F. Herman Secondary School and defensive lineman Colby Roberts from Sydney Academy may be joining the St. Francis Xavier X-Men for different reasons, there was a common theme, the friendliness and inviting nature of the university’s community was a major factor in their commitment.

Michael Beale

Courtesy of Michael Beale.

For Michael Beale, St. FX is as near to perfect as you’re going to get. “It was the right fit for me in all aspects,” he said, listing off themes of athletics, personal growth, community and schooling.

“I’m getting a chance to compete with a group of teammates that is never settling to just be ‘good enough,’” Beale said. “This gives me a chanced to continually get better and to grow as a student athlete.”

And how could he improve without the help of the X-Men bench bosses? “The coaches are extremely committed and dedicated to the athletes’ success. They put in tons of hours into the players on and off the field. (They were) a big part of my decision to commit to St. FX,” he said.

Courtesy of Michael Beale.

Hailing from Windsor, Ontario, Beale realized that there is a certain familiarity to the community surrounding the school. “The community is so involved. Everyone in the city is behind the school and the athletics and it really gives you that support as if you were back home,” Beale said.

On top of athletics, Beale is interested in pursing human kinetics. He said that St. FX has a great educational system with strong academic support for their students.

Standing at 6’4, 190lbs, he has played five years with the W.F. Herman Green Griffins (Windsor and Essex County Secondary School Athletic Association). He is a five-time WECSSAA champion from 2012 to 2016. He is also a three-time South Western Ontario Secondary School Athletics champion and OFSAA champion from 2014 to 2016. In 2016, he captured a national champion and the WECSSAA offensive MVP award. From 2015 to 2016, he was a WECSSAA all-city selection.

Colby Roberts

Courtesy of Colby Roberts.

For Colby Roberts, having a chance to play for the X-Men is a chance to play for something greater than himself. He is now an ambassador for the sport he loves so much.

“Cape Breton has only one high school with a football program,” he said. “Football is starting to grow here with the most numbers in the mite and atom programs. I enjoy (being a) volunteer coach and helping out in any way I can to promote football in our community.”

Since 2014, Roberts has suited up for the Sydney Academy Wildcats (Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation). In his seven-year career, he has also played for Cape Breton Minor Football.

“I have been very lucky to have some dedicated coaches who made football possible over the last seven years. I have always had to travel to play football,” Roberts said.

Originally from Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, attending St. FX will be like attending a hometown university. Roberts said the campus is close to home and he likes the setup of the school. He will be taking human kinetics. “It has a friendly atmosphere. My first visit felt person and I liked the family feel to it,” he said.

“I really like the coaching staff. Head Coach Waterman is very positive and energetic. I haven’t met everyone yet, but I haven’t heard a negative comment about a single one of them, even from other universities. I’m excited to have them coach me for the next five years,” Roberts added.

The 6’2, 315lbs defensive tackle has also played with Team Nova Scotia U16 in 2014 and the U18 edition in 2015 and 2016. He was a defensive captain on the 2016 Team Nova Scotia team. In the same year, he was also a NSSAF Division 1 all-star. In grade 11, he was the Wildcats’ MVP and defensive lineman of the year. He also was a NSSAF Division 2 all-star. In his first season with the Wildcats, he was rookie of the year.

Despite all that, Roberts will be looking to add a little extra hardware to his collection: “St.FX is full of traditions and who wouldn’t want an X ring?”

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