Top student-athletes are nothing new at Upper Canada College, and the current crop heading to universities in the United States and Canada later this year are looking forward to continuing their roles in new locales.
Pedram Malakian and Charlton Kelly have both committed to play soccer at National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III schools in New York, the former at Union College in Schenectady and the latter at St. Lawrence University in Canton.
“I chose Union as I believe it would provide me with the right balance of academics and athletics,” says Malakian. “The small size of the school would also individualize my learning so that I wouldn’t just be another face in the crowd.
“My overall goal as a student-athlete at university is to hopefully play in the MLS or in Europe as a professional soccer player. Furthermore, I hope that through playing soccer I can make new friends and hence improve my overall experience in university.”
Kelly also chose his small school for its overall level of academics and its soccer program.
“I hope to be an impact player in my freshman year and I would like to qualify for the Division III national tournament while still maintaining my academic grades,” he says.
Charles Watson will attend Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, Calif., an NCAA Division I school that competes in the West Coast Conference and is best known in Canadian sports circles for spawning Steve Nash, this country’s greatest basketball player. But instead of shooting hoops, Watson will be sinking putts on the school’s improving golf team.
Watson was struck by the beauty of the campus on his first visit and was impressed by its Leavey School of Business, which is the subject he always pictured himself studying in university.
“The California weather will allow me to work on my game all year round for the next four years while competing on the best courses and against the best schools in the country,” says Watson.
“I hope to graduate near the top of my class while greatly improving my golf game to help my team succeed and win numerous tournaments.”
Philippe Archambault knows he’ll play football while getting a post-secondary education in the fall, but he’s still not sure whether it will be in Canada or the U.S.
“I am still hesitating between Queen’s University and Bowdoin College,” he says.
If Archambault chooses Queen’s, he’ll be a classmate and football teammate of LC Hebert, who will attend the Kingston, Ont. school come September.
Jacob Golden is only in Grade 10, but Harvard University has already made a commitment to him to join its hockey program once he graduates from UCC. He hopes to make a contribution to the Ivy League school’s community on and off the ice.
“I chose Harvard because I felt it was the right place for me to play hockey and get a great education,” says Golden. “When I went to visit the school I fell in love with the rink and all of the facilities. I fit in very well with the style of hockey the team plays and all the coaches seem great.”