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Gaels introduce 11 more members of freshman football class

April 26, 2014


In a room full of promising football players, one young man gave Queen’s Golden Gaels coach Pat Sheahan reason to pause Friday.

“If you watch his highlight tape,” Sheahan said, quietly, as he prepared to introduce Nelkas Kwemo, “you’ll hold your breath for a second.”

Kwemo was one of 11 incoming freshmen at a news conference Friday, where they signed their letter of intent to begin study at Queen’s and play football for the Golden Gaels this fall. A 6-foot-3, 225-pound linebacker candidate, he comes to Kingston from Montreal via the Kents Hill School, a prep school in southern Maine.

A video of Kwemo’s play on the football field would depict a multi-talented athlete, Sheahan said.

“He played quarterback and ran the zone read and, boy, is he an intimidating kid to keep the football,” Sheahan said. “He returned kicks, he played defensive back, he played defensive end. He also played linebacker.

“The interesting thing about him is he didn’t even ask what position he was going to play. ‘Put you where you want me, coach,’ is not as common as it used to be. Some people see themselves as one thing or another, then football humbles you and you take what you get, but he is a very diverse and athletic kid.”

Sheahan was tipped to Kwemo by Sylvain Girard, the former Montreal Alouettes receiver who played for Sheahan at Concordia.

“The good thing about Sylvain is academics is important to him,” Sheahan said. “He recognized this kid is a quality kid, and he thought that Queen’s would be a good place for him.”

Kwemo, whose family emigrated from Cameroon to France and then to Montreal, plans to study engineering.

The other players unveiled Friday are:

• Adam Black, a running back from Mississauga who plans to study commerce and was a member of an OFSAA Bowl championship team last season at Lorne Park;

• Justin Bowman, a future arts student who was a defensive back on that same Lorne Park team;

• Mitchell Henselwood, a defensive back from Sacred Heart in Stittsville, who was a member of the bronze medal-winning Ontario team at the 2013 Canada Cup;

• Nate Hobbs, a quarterback from St. Joan of Arc in Mississauga who was on that same provincial team as well as an Ontario selects team that beat the American team at the International Bowl in Texas in February;

• Farham Imtiaz, soon to be a graduate of Frontenac Secondary School who was an Ontario Varsity Football League all-star with the Limestone Grenadiers

• Charlie Keenan, a wide receiver from Sacred Heart in Ottawa who plans to study science;

• Chris Mackey, a wide receiver and defensive back from Sinclair High School in Oshawa bound to study commerce;

• Wes Mann, a two-way back from Almonte Ontario who will be studying arts;

• Conor Redmond, a 6-foot-5, 265-pound offensive lineman from South Carleton High School in Richmond who played last year with the junior Ottawa Sooners;

• Jeff VanderSpank, a defensive lineman from Ernestown Secondary School

The Gaels will open their 2014 Ontario University Athletics season Monday, Sept. 1, at Windsor.


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