Kamloops, BC—The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack women’s soccer team enjoyed a great deal of success in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association by utilizing home grown talent. Now that they are in USport/Canada West, they are hoping to continue that trend.
Head coach Kelly Shantz and the WolfPack have announced the first two signings for the 2017-18 season. Both are from the Kamloops Youth Soccer Association. Nevada Woods of NorKam Secondary and Emily Mann of South Kamloops Secondary have committed to the program effective August 2017. Both are playing the KYSA U-18 squad under Ciaran McMahon. Woods is a striker. Mann plays midfield.
Both are excited to be staying at home and pursuing their athletic and academic careers. “The big reason I decided to commit here was the way Kelly and I got along from the start. But I grew up watching the WolfPack play. I was a ball girl for so long as well,” said Woods who added she grew up aspiring to be TRU great and now assistant coach Alanna Bekkering. “Now being able to play on the same field and having access to Alanna will be great. She has a lot to offer younger players. I am looking forward to taking advantage of that.”
The 5’8” Woods believes she is pretty creative with the ball and likes to shoot.
“I feel I am coming full circle as well,” said Mann. “I felt it was best for me to stay at home to go to university. “
Mann, who is 5’5” thinks she is going to be able to adjust to increased practices and travelling along with attending post-secondary. “It will definitely be different that high school. I will have to manage my time a bit better.”
She says her strengths are ‘reading the field well and putting balls through.” A former minor soccer coach has described her as unselfish and hard worker with great vision of the field.
Woods thinks she will have to fight for a starting position. “Many of those who are in the forward spot are first are second year players. I have played with a few of them before. I think it will be great to be able to feed off each other and help each other grow.”
Mann is looking forward to being a part of the WolfPack’s community involvement: “I have always looked up to the girls on the TRU team growing up. It will be nice to give back.” She admits that her favorite player growing up was also Bekkering.
Woods will be taking courses aimed at achieving a Bachelor of Arts program with an eye at entering the Bachelor of Education faculty at TRU in the long term. Mann will also enroll in the Bachelor of Arts program.
WolfPack head coach Kelly Shantz had this to say about his recruits: “. Emily Mann and Nevada Woods are talented players and adding them to the WolfPack family has been a goal of mine since Day 1 of taking the Head Coach position.”
“They both share something over and above their on field talents that will serve them well at the U-Sport level…….they simply love the game. In addition to playing it every chance they get, they watch it on TV and online, which is a key ingredient to being a better player and understanding how the game works. You have to watch the best in the world, men and women, play the game……it always makes you better. Emily’s Mom told that she has always had a ball at her feet around the house, going back to when she was 4 years old and I am sure Nevada is the same. Their passion for the game and its camaraderie as well having a determination to be better, make them welcome additions to the WolfPack Women’s Soccer family.”
The WolfPack will open training camp for the 2017 season next August.
Woods and Mann will remain with their KYSA team until they graduate from high school.