Saskatchewan Huskies adds two versatile commits

The Huskies bring in rural Saskatchewan teammates to their Class of 2018.

Most people probably couldn’t find Shaunavon, Saskatchewan, the hometown of fullback Corbin Nicolson and defensive back Nixen Voll from Shaunavon High School, on a map, except, perhaps, the coaches of their new team, the University of Saskatchewan Huskies.

Shaunavon lies at the crossroads between Highway 13 and Highway 37 near the American border. A city of 1,500, the Shaunavon High School Shadows (Saskatchewan High Schools Athletic Association), are often short on man-power. The team competes in nine-man football. This season, the team fielded 23 players, a whole 20 athletes short from the average team roster in their division.

It often can be difficult to draw attention to yourself while living in a rural town, but the Huskies did their due diligence. “I chose Saskatchewan because they were serious about me and were the only team to invite me to watch a game and check out the facilities,” Corbin Nicolson said. “I also chose it because I wanted to stay in Saskatchewan. The coaching staff there is top-notch.”

Nixen Voll (#15) figures out his next move as the ball carrier. Courtesy of Nixen Voll.

Nixen Voll, on the other hand, chose the Huskies because he really likes the program. “I was very impressed with the facilities during my tour. I really liked how all the teammates got along,” Voll said. “I (also) thought the coaching staff was professional and very welcoming. They made me feel like I would be an asset to the team.”

While Nicolson, who is 6’3, 200lbs, will be joining the Huskies as a tight end and fullback, he has played as a running back, wide receiver, nickelback, outside linebacker, middle linebacker and corner in his five years with the Shadows.

“We play on an incredibly small team, so, I’ve always had the opportunity to pursue and learn the game from other positions,” Nicolson said.

“Corbin is a natural-born leader, both vocally and in work ethic. He’s passionate and is always the first to push for greatness,” Garret Glasrud, the Shadows’ head coach, said.

His counterpart, Voll, has also had his fair share of position changes. The 6’0, 175lbs athlete spent two years as a receiver before starting as a quarterback, punt returner and punter in 2016. This season, he also played as a linebacker, corner, kickoff returner and field goal kicker.

“Nixen is the strong, silent type. Obviously, his sheer natural athleticism is a huge asset to the game,” Glasrud said. “In ten years, I’ve never seen an athlete with his capabilities. He’s humble, smart and can do whatever is asked of him.”

Voll is the team’s current record holder for most punt return touchdowns in a season when he scored seven in one year. He also has the most career touchdowns (49) and the most in one game, where he scored seven in 60-minutes.

When Nicolson and Voll reach the Huskies, Glasrud knows they will have different roles with the team. “Corbin will be able to learn the new systems and contribute his size while Nixen will bring his speed and agility to the special teams and defence,” he said.

“They’re the kind of guys (that are) at the core of your program, the guys who will be there at all times, good and bad,” Glasrud added. ‘They’re going to be great team players for that program and hopefully, one day, the young recruits behind them will view them as role models and leaders.”

Corbin Nicolson (#6) leaps for the ball. Courtesy of Corbin Nicolson.

In 2016, Nicolson received a leadership award. This season, he was named as the offensive player of the year and the most dedicated player. Voll was the Shadows’ rookie of the year in 2014 and the top offensive player in 2015 and 2016. In 2017, he was the team’s MVP and received a special teams award. He also won a silver medal with Team Saskatchewan at the 2017 Football Canada Cup.

Glasrud has been coaching Voll and Nicolson since they joined the team in 2013. In 2015, the pair started as grade ten students and helped bring the team to a provincial championship. The team repeated as provincial champions again this past season. Both players will be taking arts and sciences in university.

“Corbin and Nixen have very different styles, but have brought great things to our team and hopefully will continue to do so with the Huskies,” Glasrud said. “To be honest, I’m going to miss them. They have a great sense of humor and bring a lot of entertainment to practice from time to time.”

With a new season fast approaching, the pair won’t soon forget the people that helped them reach this point. They would like to thank their coaches, Garret Glasrud, Jordan Thomas, Chris Nelson, Justin Illerbrun and Aaron Audette for all that they have done for them.

“They provided me with this opportunity by coaching me for five years straight and showing me what hard work can do,” Nicolson said.

Before saying goodbye to Nicolson and Voll, Glasrud has one last thing to say: “Best of luck and never stop growing. The coaches, teammates, school and our small community are all behind you and wish you the best of success.”

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