CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - The Holland College Hurricanes men’s soccer program has turned to a group of Island talent in pursuit of a national championship on home soil.
Midfielders Thomas Ford and Tegan Misener, along with backs Grant MacAdam, Jonathan MacKenzie and Ben Tanton, have all committed to the Hurricanes for the 2018-19 Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association season.
Hurricanes head coach Jonathan Vos, who has coached all five players at the provincial level, is happy to add Island pieces to the mix.
“We’re excited to have more local talent pushing the Hurricanes forward,” said Vos. “These five players have been solid players through their youth careers and this next step will be a great test for all of them.”
Four of the recruits have played together for years, representing P.E.I. in three national youth club championships with the Winsloe Charlottetown Royals.
For Misener, who will enrol in the sport and leisure management program, Vos’s influence was a key contributor in his decision to join the Hurricanes.
“He’s had a big impact on Holland College soccer,” said Misener, a Colonel Gray High School graduate. “He’s been in the field of soccer for so long. He’s coached us before and we know the program’s really good, too.”
Misener, who lists speed, strength and attacking instinct as his best on-field qualities, will be joined in the sport and leisure management program by a pair of Colonels teammates in MacKenzie and MacAdam.
In MacKenzie’s case, he considers communication, work ethic and leadership to be his strong suits. Like his fellow recruits, the idea of playing close to home in a familiar system drew MacKenzie to the Hurricanes.
“Whenever I wanted to play Holland College soccer, Coach Vos was first to approach me,” MacKenzie said. “He really acknowledged my playing style and invited me to come out.”
The third Colonel in this year’s recruiting class, MacAdam is no stranger to the Holland College program as his older brother, Jarrod, received a bronze medal with the Hurricanes at last year’s national collegiate men’s soccer championship in Nanaimo, B.C.
“He seemed to like it here, so I figured I’d give it a shot,” said MacAdam.
Originally from Summerside, Tanton will take his talents to the wind turbine technician program in the fall.
Tanton, who brings hard work, solid tackling and good shoulder-on-shoulder play to the Hurricanes, also plans to draw on his national championship experience with the Royals to help his transition to the ACAA game.
“It’s a lot higher level at nationals when you see how good the players are, so I imagine the higher-level competition will help me out,” said Tanton.
Meanwhile, Ford, a North Winsloe native, has also put together a strong youth career with RC United along with an appearance at the 2017 Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg where he appreciated the talent across the board.
“Those players are the best that their provinces have to offer, so it’s good competition and you always have to be on your game,” said Ford of his Canada Games experience.
Ford, who cites hard work, winning the ball and communication as his on-field strengths, will study business administration in the fall after graduating from Bluefield High School in June.
The Hurricanes begin pursuit of a fifth consecutive ACAA championship against the Dal-AC Rams Saturday, Sept. 8, in Cornwall.
Holland College hosts the men’s national championship Nov. 6-10 also in Cornwall.