With the fall season just around the corner, athletes in Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii are gearing up for hockey, basketball and a plethora of other autumn activities. But for some other North Coast youth, they’ve gone afar to ply their trade.
Two new university athletes called Rupert home just a few short weeks ago and now take residence on campus between two of British Columbia’s most thriving schools.
Sarah McChesney has gone south to attend Thompson Rivers University (TRU) in Kamloops, where she’ll frequently don a bathing suit as she’s made the varsity swim team, Wolfpack. TRU competes in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) country-wide league.
Celina Guadagni has stayed close to the ocean. She’s chosen Vancouver Island University (VIU) to study sports and recreation management and also play basketball for the VIU Mariners’ varsity squad. VIU is part of the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association that competes in seven sports with 100 member institutions across Canada. Guadagni’s Mariners are part of the Pacific Western Athletic Association (PACWEST).
Nate Vogstad, a recent graduate of Queen Charlotte Secondary School, will lace ’em up at Simon Fraser University (SFU) with the Clan basketball team. SFU is the first Canadian university to formally play in the United States’ National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
In a press release by the university, Clan head coach James Blake complimented his recruit.
“Nathan is a tough basketball player that can really shoot the ball. Our staff is excited about his feel for the game and you can tell he has played with older guys growing up in a small community,” said Blake.
“He does not back down from anyone and that mentality will help him defensively at the next level.”
Along with the three post-secondary students, Frank Slubowski continues to tend goal with the Western Michigan University Broncos in his senior year.
In addition to Slubowski, five junior hockey players have ventured south to play Junior B puck and one for Junior A.
Devin Oakes, who played for the Kamloops Blazers for two games last year, is now with the Merritt Centennials of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) while Brady Ward and Jaiden Ward will suit up for the 100 Mile House Wranglers of the Junior B Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL). Braydon Horcoff has made the KIJHL’s Beaver Valley Nitehawks and Tyler Ostrom and Judd Repole currently lace up the skates for the Osooyos Coyotes.