X-Men coaches ‘really know their football’

The X-Men add one provincial commit and two out-of-province commits to their 2019 class.

Whatever their reasons where for committing, defensive backs Branden Thompson from Citadel High School and Kyle Barnes from Immaculata High School feel right at home with the Saint Francis Xavier X-Men.

Aidan Licoppe, a linebacker from Kelvin High School, will also be joining the X-Men.

Branden Thompson

It didn’t take long for Branden Thompson of Halifax, Nova Scotia, to learn that he belonged with the X-Men. “The reason I decided to commit to StFX is because when I got on the campus it just felt right and it’s not too far away from home, which is something I was looking for,” he said.

“I’ve known a few of the coaches for a couple of years now and I think they’re great,” Thompson added. “They bring energy to each practice and they really know their football.”

The 5’11, 180lbs corner is interested in a degree in health.

Thompson’s career has spanned for 11 seasons. In that time, he has played for the Dartmouth Destroyers and the Citadel Phoenix (NSSAFFL). He was a two-time NSSAF Division 1 league all-star in 2017 and 2018. He also helped the Phoenix to three NSSAF championships in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Kyle Barnes

Kyle Barnes may be from Ottawa, Ontario, but he said StFX “truly felt like home to me.”

Whether it was academically, athletically and socially, he said he has only heard good things about the school. “When I went on a visit I immediately fell in love,” Barnes added.” I got to meet some of the guys on the team and I could tell it was a winning culture.”

Courtesy of Kyle Barnes.

When he met with the coaches, Barnes said the meetings made his decision that much easier. “I am super impressed by the coaching staff,” he said. “They are all very dedicated to the game and (they) have a system I feel comfortable working in…I can definitely see why Head Coach Waterman won AUS coach of the year and I’m thrilled to be able to play under his coaching.”

Focusing on academics, Barnes said that the coaches “understand the importance of success on the field as well as in the classroom and I love that about them.”

The 5’11, 185lbs defensive halfback will be taking business. He said he has had a passion for it since he first learned about it. He also said that the Gerald Schwartz School of Business has a beautiful building and an incredible program.

Barnes has spent the past two years playing with the Immaculata Saints (NCSSAA). He was invited to the all-star game both years. Last season he was named to the all-Ottawa 2nd-team as a halfback.

Football was not his first sport and Barnes played hockey for most of his life. It wasn’t until a few years ago that he switched to football while still playing competitive hockey.

Aidan Licoppe

Aidan Licoppe will be heading to Nova Scotia from his home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He played with the Kelvin Clippers (WHSFL) as an outside linebacker.

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