StFX X-Men culture, prestige attracts three

StFX welcomes one provincial and two out-of-province commits to their 2018 class.

Offensive lineman Dylan Provost from Holland College, defensive back Bentley Thomas from G.W. Graham Secondary School and receiver Nick Clarke from Central Kings Rural High School have big dreams both on and off the field, and they are hoping their time with the Saint Francis Xavier X-Men can help them make their dreams a reality.

Dylan Provost

Courtesy of Dylan Provost.

While Dylan Provost was born and raised in Kingston, Ontario, he has taken a shine to the east coast. Currently in Charlottetown, PEI, he will be moving to Nova Scotia to continue his football career.

“My decision in choosing StFX was an easy one, the school is very prestigious, the program is top-notch and I feel like I can learn a lot from the coaches and be apart of a legendary team,” he said.

In his high school days, Provost was under the charge of Warren Goldie, the current X-Men offensive coordinator. “I’m very excited to use his playbook again as I am very comfortable with it from back then,” the 6’1, 285lbs centre said.

“The coaches at StFX are very dedicated and committed to the success of the team. I’m excited to be coached by Coach Dave since he was a coach for Team Canada and played for Queen’s University. I believe I can learn a lot from him,” Provost added.

While at Holland College, Provost studied automotive. He plans on taking business at StFX with the goal of opening his own shop with the knowledge obtained from both schools.

Before playing with the Holland Hurricanes (AFL), Provost played with the Frontenac Secondary School Falcons (Kingston Area Secondary School Athletic Association). He also suited up for the Kingston Grenadiers (OPFL). He is a three-time city champion with the Falcons and a two-time OFSAA Bowl champion. He was a captain at the 2014 OFSAA Bowl. That season, the team started 0-3 and roared back to win the championship game.

Bentley Thomas

When Bentley Thomas spoke with the X-Men, there was one key thing that caught his attention. “The culture,” he said. “‘We don’t have names on our jerseys because we play for each other.’ The quote really spoke out to me. I knew I had to be apart of the program when I heard that.”

It’s the coaches who are a major component in implementing such culture. “They are awesome,” Thomas said. “They love football as much as I do. They want me just as badly as I want to be there, can’t wait to work with them.”

Thomas will have a long flight from his hometown of Chilliwack, BC, to Antigonish, Nova Scotia. The 6’0, 175lbs athlete spent five years with the G.W. Graham Grizzlies (Vancouver Secondary Schools Athletic Association). In 2014, he won a provincial championship. He recently won a coaches’ choice award.

Nick Clarke

Woodville, Nova, Scotia, the birthplace of Nick Clarke, has a population of a mere 200 people. Antigonish, Nova Scotia, in comparison, is 21 times larger. Despite a glaring difference in population size, Antigonish is still comparatively small to many other places and that’s perfectly fine for Clarke.

By Chris Campbell.

“I chose StFX because of its small, hometown feeling, the academic programs I am interested in and the football team’s coaches and players,” he said. “I believe that the StFX coaching staff is second to none! I look forward to starting my university career surrounded by people who not only care about football but also care about education.”

While Clarke was a member of Team Nova Scotia U18, he said he had the pleasure of working with some of the X-Men’s coaches.

“Meal hall is also pretty sweet,” Clarke added about why he committed. “The residences at StFX are very nice as well.”

Beyond football, Clarke has dreams of revolutionizing the egg industry. “I come from a farming background, therefore I am interested in pursuing agricultural engineering career pathways,” he said. “I plan on connecting engineering to agriculture and helping to find a new and innovative ban layout that benefits egg-laying hens but is cost-effective for the farmers transitioning to cage-free or free-run cage systems.”

Clarke’s career is relatively young, spanning only three years. Standing at 6’0, 180lbs, he played with the Central Kings Rural High School Gators (Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Football League). In 2015, he was the rookie of the year (Division 3). In 2016, he won the Gators’ coaches’ award. The same year, he helped his team capture a Division 2 championship. Last season, he was an NSSAFFL Division 2 MVP. He is also a three-time all-star.

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