York commits ready to max potential

York adds two GTA commits to their 2018 class.

Defensive back Jaden Thomas from Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School and running back David Spence from St. Marcellinus Secondary School see a bright future ahead of their new team, the York Lions.

Jaden Thomas

Courtesy of Jaden Thomas.

From the moment that Jaden Thomas got in contact with the Lions, he felt the love. “York has a family feel to it. In the beginning of my recruitment, York recruitment coordinator Zak Colangelo was always checking up on me and looking out for my well-being as well as making sure my transition from high school to university was smooth, which ultimately drew me towards York,” he said.

As to no surprise, when I visited the school the coaching staff and players were very welcoming as well and had a plan set in place to maximize the potential of its roster to make plenty of playoff pushes in the near future.”

For his academic pursuits, Thomas will be taking psychology. He said he is passionate about studying human behaviour and he hopes to pursue it further.

The 5’10, 185lbs cornerback spent four years with the Oshawa Hawkeyes (OVFL). Before playing on the defense, he spent two seasons as a running back in grades nine and ten. He was the Hawkeyes’ rookie of the year and offensive player of the year. On the defense, he was a two-time Top Prospect invitee and was an OVFL all-star last season.

“I am very excited for what the future holds while at York University,” Thomas said. “I plan on making an immediate impact when joining the Lions and establish a winning culture.”

David Spence

Courtesy of David Spence.

While David Spence was not in the OVFL for long, he has been keeping track of the players coming out of the league. “There are many ROPSSAA and OVFL players that I know that play for York and I am confident in the talent they have been gifted with,” he said. “I chose to commit to York because of the amazing potential it has to be one of the better football programs in the OUA.”

He added that, “Additionally, I love the opportunity I was presented with to contribute early on. I liked the atmosphere and the hard work ethic at York.”

A track athlete as well, Spence said he liked the fact that York has a training regiment specially focused on speed. “It is important that my speed is developed rather than not,” he said.

When Spence spoke with the Lions’ coaching staff, he knew they meant business. “The coaching staff was very friendly, and they know their x’s and o’s. They really understand football and its inner workings and rules. It’s easy to talk offensive schemes and the like,” he said. “I liked how (they were) straightforward and honest about everything they told me, and I felt as if I could really trust them to coach me for the next five years.”

Academically, York was the only Ontario school that offered Spence’s program, actuarial science. It focuses on math and finance, to which Spence said math is his strongest subject. He said he look forward to being enrolled in the program.

Standing at 5’7, 177lbs, Spence has also played as a receiver and kick returner. He played a year with the Mississauga Warriors (OVFL) in grade eight. He spent four years with the St. Marcellinus Spirit (ROPSSAA) in his hometown of Mississauga, Ontario. In 2016, he was a track and field MVP. He also won an ROPSSAA football championship in 2016. Last season, he was an all-star. He led the league in rushing yards and touchdowns and was ranked #1 in his position.

With all that he has accomplished, Spence said, “I give all the credit for all my athletic and academic success to God.”

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