X-Men team built around ‘cohesive guys’

X-Men welcome three out-of-province commits to their 2019 class.

Offensive lineman Liam Simmonds from the Cowichan Bulldogs and receiver Spencer Riley from Frontenac Secondary School may be from opposite ends of the country, but they’re set to join the brotherhood of the Saint Francis Xavier X-Men together.

Defensive lineman Sage Nicholls from Centennial High School will also be joining the X-Men.

Liam Simmonds

It will be a long flight from the Pacific to the Atlantic, but Liam Simmonds is up for the adventure. “I picked StFX for the small class sizes and the amazing education program that they have, and the team is an amazing fit with players from all around the country,” Simmonds said. “The coaching staff is great. The offensive line coach is also the offensive coordinator, so that allows for a more fluent offence.”

The 6’3, 225lbs offensive tackle is interested in taking education. He plans on becoming a teacher.

Simmonds has been playing with the Cowichan Bulldogs since he started his career in 2015. The product of Duncan, BC, was named as the best defensive lineman in 2015. He was recognized as the ‘most inspirational’ in 2016 and 2017. He also helped the 2017 Rising Selects, the 2018 Rising Stars and the 2018 Current Stars win their respective ABC Bowls. While he was invited to play in the Fox 40 Prospect Challenge, he was unable to attend the game.

Spencer Riley

It was the culture and atmosphere of the X-Men that drew Spencer Riley to the team. “The football team is very motivated to win, and they built their team around cohesive guys who are willing to work together,” he said. “All the people are extremely nice and welcoming, and the academic excellence also appealed to me. It puts me in a spot to succeed after university.”

Riley added that, “The coaching staff was, by far, the most connected to each other and the players. They all expressed their desire to win while keeping the same mentality: players who work together win championships.”

The 6’0, 180lbs product of Kingston, Ontario, has played football for five years with both the Kingston Grenadiers (OPFL) and the Frontenac Falcons (KASSAA). He is a two-time offensive player of the year with the Grenadiers in 2014 and 2016. He was also rookie of the year in 2017.

Sage Nicholls

Safe Nicholls is from Calgary, Alberta. The 6’4, 245lbs defensive end and outside linebacker has played with the Centennial Coyotes (CHSAA) since 2016.

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