Thunderbirds’ winning culture attracts 4

UBC adds two provincial and two out-of-province commits to their 2018 class.

Receiver Nicholas Rich from Carson Graham Secondary School, Max Kennedy from Centennial High School and CFC100 Jacob Patten from Bishop Ryan Catholic High School are confident that the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds are a team that will not only put their education first, but will also turn them into strong football players as well.

Jaxon Ciraolo-Brown from Cathedral High School will also be joining the Thunderbirds.

Nicholas Rich

By Katie Burt.

A resident of North Vancouver, BC, Nicholas Rich saw no reason to leave the province of his birth. He said he chose UBC because of “the winning culture that the coaching staff brings to the team, how much emphasis the football program puts on education and the location. This is home. My family lives 45 minutes away from the school.”

He added that the coaches are winners who “want you to succeed as a player as well as a person.”

While Rich has played for four years with the Carson Graham Eagles (BC Secondary Schools Football Association), this is his first year where he was fully committed to football. The 6’1, 170lbs athlete has played soccer, rugby and basketball as well. He is a former Eagles’ football MVP. He is unsure which program he will be pursuing.

Max Kennedy

Courtesy of Max Kennedy.

When Max Kennedy enters the Thunderbirds locker room, his stall won’t be the only one labelled as “Kennedy.” He said that, “I have an older brother, Jordan Kennedy, that plays there, so that had a factor in it, having an opportunity to play with him.”

UBC is also close to home said Kennedy, who is from Coquitlam, BC. “They’re the very first team that showed interest in me and the coaches made me feel welcome. I think the staff is one of the best in U Sports, especially with Head Coach Nill’s winning history,” he added.

Kennedy will be taking a year of general studies before deciding on a major.

Since the tender age of eight, Kennedy has been running all over the gridiron. Standing at 5’10, 180lbs, he has played with the Centennial Centaurs (BCSSFA) throughout high school. Last season, he was the team’s offensive player of the year and the MVP. He was an eastern conference and provincial all-star as well.

CFC100 Jacob Patten

After growing up in a steel-city on the shores of Lake Ontario, Jacob Patten will be getting a breath of fresh mountain air. “Vancouver is a beautiful place and the campus is great,” he said.

“I chose to commit to UBC because after meeting the staff and players, I saw a program built for players to win, but I also saw players who want to win no matter what and that is what matters…the team also shows they are for the team, not themselves,” Patten added. “The coaching staff is very well-put together. It is filled with winning coaches and coaches that are determined to stay focused and win.”

Patten, who is 6’0, 170lbs, has spent five years playing in his hometown of Hamilton, Ontario. He has suited up for such teams as the Hamilton Ironmen (OVFL) the Hamilton Varsity Tiger-Cats (OPFL) and the Bishop Ryan Celtics (HWCAA). He is a three-time athlete of the year in grades 9, 10 and 12.

Patten is interested in studying arts with the possibility of transferring into law.

Jaxon Ciraolo-Brown

Jaxon Ciraolo-Brown is from Hamilton, Ontario. He played with the Cathedral Gaels (HWCAA) in high school. In September of 2017, he was named as the Gaels’ athlete of the month. He had five touchdowns against Bishop Ryan, four running and one interception. He stands at 6’0, 195lbs.

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