North Delta’s Xavier Cole is ready to prove he’s among the best young football players in Canada.
Cole, 15, is in Edmonton this week playing with U16 Team BC at the 2018 Western Challenge. Having been selected to be on the provincial team two years in a row, Cole said he felt confident in his athletic abilities.
“No one else can beat me. That’s the mindset I’m going into it with,” he said about the tournament. “And when it comes to going against the other teams, I’m used to it. I’ve been in this high of a competition, and higher.”
On Wednesday, July 4, he and teammates fought against Team Alberta in the first part of the two-round tournament. But the real competition for the players is to make it onto Team Canada, where Cole hopes to find the exposure he needs to launch his career in professional football.
“From this, just this Western Canada tournament, you get a lot of exposure from Canadian teams,” Cole explained. “But if you make Team Canada and go against the U.S. and Mexico and Japan, you get a lot of overall exposure from different places, the U.S. especially.”
A soon-to-be Grade 10 student at North Delta’s Seaquam Secondary, Cole might seem a little young to be thinking about scholarship offers and college applications. However, the attention his football career is getting proves otherwise.
Cole began playing football at the age of nine with the North Delta Longhorns and joined the Seahawks after starting at Seaquam Secondary two years ago, eventually earning spots on both Team BC and Team Canada.
Last year, Cole was chosen to represent Canada at the ninth International Bowl, hosted by USA Football in Arlington, Texas, alongside fellow Seahawks Jalen and Tyson Philpot. The twins went on to sign with the University of Calgary in February.
This coming school year, Cole will be playing on both Seaquam’s junior and senior football teams, as well as travelling to the States to play in seven-on-seven flag football tournaments. It’s all in pursuit of his dream of playing professional football.
And it looks as if that dream is coming closer to being reality. Cole has already received a few offers from American universities, including one from the University of La Verne, a division three college in California. He’s hoping to get more offers from division two and division one schools this year.
Cole is also making himself known in the Canadian football community, ranking 58th on canadafootballchat.com’s top 100 players in the 2021/22 high school graduation year. Rankings are based on athletic potential, athletic frame, NCAA and CIS scholarship offers, football ability and football potential.
“[It’s] definitely one of my biggest accomplishments so far,” he said about making the top 100.
Although Cole is looking ahead to what he hopes will be a bright future, he intends to remember his roots.
“If I do make it, and make money off it, definitely to give back to my parents is probably the number one thing,” Cole said about his professional football dreams.
“And I guess it would be cool to make it and go back to the organizations that you started out with,” he continued. “For me, [it was] the North Delta Longhorns. So if I was to make it, I would go back and support the young kids back there.”