From Saint Paul to Windsor
From left: Enzey Youyoute, Josh Canali, Marley McCray and Jarrel Pappin. Photo by: BILL POTRECZ
Saint Paul Catholic High School will be well represented on the football field at the University of Windsor next season.
Four players from the Patriots — Jarrel Pappin, Marley McCray, Enzey Youyoute and Josh Canali — all signed their letters of intent Thursday to suit up for the Lancers.
“Amazing. It’s awesome,” Windsor offensive co-ordinator Joe Circelli said following a press conference to announce the signings. “For us, we’re really trying to build the foundation of our program heading into Year 2.
“It’s all about bringing great people into our environment so we can really infuse self-motivated players into our team and collectively bring our talent level up.”
Saint Paul coach Rick Oreskovich was all smiles when asked about the foursome.
“I’m very proud of all of them,” he said. “They are four dedicated football players.
“For Saint Paul to have this many players at the next level is an honour for us.”
Oreskovich can’t wait to see how they perform at the next level.
“They all have a ton of potential,” he said. “They have to buckle down academically and it will take them some time to (adapt) to the focus of university football and the physical and mental demands, but I think they will do very well.”
Pappin, an 18-year-old, Grade 12B student, was thrilled to have his future mapped out.
“It’s a special day for me,” he said. “It shows how hard I’ve grinded for this all my life. This is another step to move up.”
Pappin plans to study criminology and become a policeman.
“When we went on the visit it just felt like home to me,” he said. “It’s a small town and everybody knew everybody and I could just see myself there. The football program is good, the criminology program is good so I’m looking forward to that as well.”
Pappin realizes the jump from high school to OUA will be significant.
“Obviously, it’s going to be a grind. It’s going to be like my transition from junior to senior, but a bigger jump than that. I’m going to be in the gym more getting myself ready to be a fullback.
“It’s going to be good, honestly. I’m pretty sure I’m going to be a good fit.”
Circelli is looking forward to having Pappin in the Lancers’ backfield.
“Jarrel will play fullback for us. He’s just a physical football player. I think in this day and age it’s harder and harder to find those hard-nosed players that it doesn’t matter who’s in front of them, they are going to go through the wall.”
McCray teamed with Pappin in Saint Paul’s backfield this season, but will be moving to the other side of the ball for Windsor.
“We see Marley coming in as a defensive end and a guy who could potentially play a little outside linebacker,” Circelli said. “We think his athleticism and the way he plays football is going to be pretty special. We think he can bolster our defensive line and add a pass rush to our team.”
McCray, an 18-year-old, Grade 12B student, was appreciative of the moment.
“It’s surreal,” he said. “I’ve come so far athletically and academically,” he said. “I broke my pelvis coming into high school so this is a big thing.
“It was always in the back of my mind. I had aspirations of doing it.”
Youyoute, a 17-year-old, Grade 12 student, plans to study communications and journalism.
“This is a dream come true,” he said. “A guy like me, I didn’t think I’d go all the way. I’m the first one in my family to make it to the second level in my education.
“I’m really excited.”
Youyoute loves to be the centre of attention on the field.
“I’m just that guy when I have the ball, I make things happen. Whether I’m at the one-yard line or the goal line, I’m trying to score.”
Circelli feels Youyoute’s offensive talent will play at the OUA level.
“Enzey is a dynamic football player,” Circelli said. “He’s like a little water bug out there. He’s going to make you look foolish, he’s going to make you miss, but he also comes downhill.
“When he was playing defensive back, he was just a fearless player and one you know is going to go through the wall for you. We’re excited to get him in space and let him do some things with the ball and know he’s going to be all over the field.”
Canali is a former A.N. Myer student who transferred to Saint Paul and had to sit out the season.
“This is like a dream come true for me,” said Canali, an 18-year-old, Grade 12 B student. “It’s going to be a lot of hard work. It’s exciting to get the opportunity to compete at the next level.”
Canali, who plans to study criminology, also appreciates being able to share the experience with the three others.
“It was more of a thing where the same school was talking to all of us and it was really cool we all decided at once,” he said. “Throughout this year and last year we were thinking about going to different schools but it’s cool we all landed at the same school.”
Circelli kept Canali on his radar even though he was unable to suit up for the Pats.
“We think Josh is a diamond in the rough for us, someone who maybe hasn’t had the same exposure because he had to sit out, but someone who we feel has all the tools to be a great defensive back in our league,” he said. “This year was tough for him but we get a long defensive back, someone who is not afraid to come down and stick his nose in and make solid tackles. Someone who has great size and length and can be very dynamic and do different things, whether it’s playing in low zones or playing in high zones.”
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