UBC bolsters offense and defense with latest commits

UBC brings in five commits to their team.

Chris Thelasco, a defensive back from the Valley Huskies (CJFL) and Broden Mar, an offensive lineman from Catholic Central High School, will be crossing provincial lines to reach the shores of the Pacific after signing with the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds.

Kees Denouden, a receiver from Centennial High School, Garret Cape, a defensive back from the Okanagan Sun (CJFL) and Matt Castle, a defensive back from Sammamish High School will also be joining the Thunderbirds in the upcoming season.

Chris Thelasco

Chris Thelasco (#21) chases down his opponent. Courtesy of Chris Thelasco.

Chris Thelasco wasn’t originally from Calgary, the city he now calls home. At the end of grade ten, he moved from Quebec to Alberta. Already used to moving across county, it will be a bit of a shorter trip to his new home of the west coast.

“It was an easy decision really that UBC was the best option. Knowing that there’s life after university, I really took into consideration ‘where would I get the best education?’” he said. “When comparing UBC side-by-side with any other school I was interested in, UBC won by a landslide academically and football wise.”

Thelasco, who is interested in Math or Economics, added that, “Not to forget, the campus, in my opinion, is the most beautiful and breath taking in the country.”

The 5’11, 190lbs player has had experience working under many different coaches. Now, he will get a taste of university coaching. “Head Coach Nill and the rest of the Thunderbird coaching staff have been nothing but be exceptionally nice, respectful, yet honest with me. Honestly, I’m very excited to get to learn from them,” he said.

Prior to committing to UBC, he took a gap year and played with the Valley Huskies (CJFL). In high school, he played with the Notre Dame Pride (Calgary High School Athletic Association). He spent his bantam and midget years with the Sun Youth Hornets in Montreal.

Paul Orazietti, the Thunderbirds’ recruiting coordinator and special teams’ coach, described Thelasco as being a super athlete, one of the top tier 1 players in Calgary.

While he will have to wait a bit until he can hit the field, Thelasco is more than ready to start the next leg of his journey. He said, “I’m just excited to be able to get a good education and get a shot to win a national championship, which I’ve been dreaming of since I first stepped on the football field.”

QMFL all-star 2013
Provincial championship 2013
High school all-star 2014
Provincial and city finalist 2015
Southern Alberta Senior Bowl all-star 2015-2016
Canadian high school all-star selection vs. Team USA 2016

Broden Mar

Courtesy of Broden Mar.

It was UBC’s academic and football reputation that brought Broden Mar over the provincial boarder. Hailing from Lethbridge, Alberta, he is impressed with how the coaches conduct themselves. “The coaching staff seems to be elite to any other program, wanting their players to succeed in football as well as education,” the future Arts student said.

In his career, the 6’4, 290lbs athlete has played five years with the Coaldale Bears (Lethbridge Minor Football Association) and three years with the Catholic Central Cougars (Southern Alberta High School Football League). He was also a member of the Alberta Rising Stars team and the Alberta Current Stars team. In 2015, he was a league champion. In 2016, he was a league all-star for both offense and defensive, was team MVP and the most outstanding lineman.

Orazietti is more than pleased to have him on the team. He said, “(Mar is a) huge lineman with great athleticism and a high ceiling.”

Kees denOuden
Kees denOuden, who is 6’0, 180lbs, played with the Centennial Coyotes (CHSAA) in high school. He is from Calgary and is a two-time team MVP and conference all-star.

Garret Cape
Garret Cape will be joining the team from Prince George, BC. After his high school team folded, he moved to Kelowna in grade 12 to join the Okanagan Sun as a seventeen-year-old. Orazietti described him as one of the top defensive backs in BC.

Matt Castle
Matt Castle is from Bellevue, Washington, which is a bit east of Seattle. He played with the Sammamish Totems in high school. Standing at 6’1, 180lbs, he formerly played as a quarterback before playing as a defensive back. Orazietti said he is a tremendous athlete with a great frame.



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