Thunderbirds Sign Cade Van RaaphorstAug 24, 2020
August 24, 2020: Halifax, NS - The Thunderbirds announced today that they have signed defenceman Cade Van Raaphorst to a two-year agreement.
The Phoenix, Arizona native played the last two outdoor seasons in the Premier Lacrosse League for the Atlas Lacrosse Club. In the two years, he has played in 14 games, recording six points, 23 caused turnovers and 37 ground balls.
"I am super excited to have the opportunity to sign with the Halifax Thunderbirds," said Van Raaphorst. "The Thunderbirds are an incredible organization, and I am looking forward to playing and learning from some of the best players in the NLL."
A standout at Duke University, Van Raaphorst played in 70 career games with 56 starts for the Blue Devils. He is a two-time USILA All-America first team pick and three-time All-ACC. He was additionally named as a nominee for the prestigious Tewaaraton Award in 2019.
“Cade is a super athletic, mobile, smart defenseman who excels on the field,” said Head Coach Mike Accursi. “We are expecting that he will transition quickly to the box game where he can use his athleticism to cause havoc on offenses this winter. We are excited he chose Halifax to hone his skills.”
Cade's father, Jeff, was the starting quarterback at Arizona State, leading the Sun Devils to the Pac-10 championship in 1987 as well as the school’s only Rose Bowl victory. He was inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 2006, and played in the NFL for two seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. His uncle, Mike Van Raaphorst, was a backup quarterback to Carson Palmer at Southern California while uncle, Kit Lathrop, played football at Arizona State and in the NFL. His grandfather Dick Van Raaphorst kicked for The Ohio State Buckeyes and for the San Diego Chargers of the NFL.
Prior to his collegiate and professional career, Van Raaphorst lettered five years for the varsity team at Desert Vista High School, securing 2015 Under Armour-All-American honours and two US Lacrosse All-American awards. A three-time first team all-state honoree, Van Raaphorst was named the Arizona Defensive Player of the Year three straight years 2013-15.