By David Grossman

Watch carefully and you can see it: it’s quite common for champions in sport to have some form of a swagger in their step.

Not for Brad Rose. For him, there was more of a show of respect and confidence every time he took a step to the soccer field. Articulate, gifted in the classroom and also playing sports at Upper Canada College, Rose was always focused on being the best. It was, and still is, his modus operandi.

His particular approach to things, while focused and determined, hasn’t changed much from those early days of Grade 7 classes. He’s now a successful corporate strategy manager in Mississauga.

“UCC was a great stepping stone to helping me achieve my dreams,” says Rose. “I know that no matter what you do, there will always be challenges and struggles – and UCC taught me to deal with things in a special way that would be a huge help in dealing with issues and life.”

Rose, like all youngsters, had dreams of playing professional sport. For him, it was soccer – one of several sports he played back in his teen days wearing the blue and white of UCC.

A striker on the Blues squad, Rose was top scorer in the league as a junior. He did it again as a senior. In four seasons with the Blues, Rose scored 90 goals.

Tack on the prestigious award as UCC’s most valuable player in that sport. Rose can also carry a good discussion on those days when he was a member of three championship teams in the Conference of Independent Schools Athletic Association and a pair of national titles.

And another wonderful achievement at UCC, was when Rose was named MVP at the 2006 Canadian Accredited Independent Schools soccer playoffs.

Academic grades were always something special to Rose. He needed top marks to get accepted to Yale University –   where he’d graduate with a degree in economics.

But it wasn’t all studies at the Ivy League school, as Rose played four seasons with the Bulldogs, again was a top scorer and chosen a league all-star among several other awards.

“Sports at UCC were great and I remember those days as being very special to me, developing special friendships and helping me develop as an athlete,” he recalls. “There were times at Yale when I struggled because of several injuries, but I remembered the talks at UCC with coaches and teachers about perseverance and dedication.”

Rose did get an opportunity to taste the professional level – but it would only be for three months, after graduation from Yale, with the Colorado Rapids who compete in major league soccer.