Countless hours of training and invaluable game experience has paid off for Kylie Erb of Summerland.
Erb, along with McKenzie Ricard, Alena Carlile and Caitlyn Spooner of the Pinnacles Football Club are extending their soccer careers at the post-secondary level.
Ricard, Carlile and Erb will suit up for the University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves in Prince George, while Spooner is joining the Quest University Kermodes in Squamish this fall.
The trio of rookie Timberwolves are excited to play in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS).
Erb has some nerves about the change, but said it’s good because of the exposure to a higher level will motivate them to elevate their game.
“It’s exciting,” said Erb, a Summerland Secondary grad. “It makes it feel like all the hard work has paid off. That we are reaching the next level.”
Erb, who plays fullback, said making this transition with her friends will help, but also said her new teammates are nice.
“I’m excited to see what happens,” said Erb, an under-16 provincial champ.
First and foremost what attracted Timberwolves coach Andy Cameron to the trio is that they are good students and athletes.
“We very much want our players to overachieve in the classroom and on the field,” said Cameron via email. “Secondly, based on discussions with Kylie, McKenzie and Alena, and my observations of their play, they play a similar style to the game as our university team.
“This is both a credit to them as players, but also speaks highly of the good work that is being done within the Pinnacles Football Club in Penticton. Individually, Kylie brings the pace to get into forwards into the offensive third from her fullback position,” he continued.
“Alena brings athleticism and size to the central midfield and McKenzie is a tidy left-footed player who can provide quality distribution out of the back. I believe that all three players can contribute to the program quickly and I am looking forward to working with them.”
Last season the Timberwolves finished 1-9-2 in the Canada West Standings.
Their season began Sept. 6 to 7 when they hosted the UBC-O Heat.
Spooner, who played with Ricard on the Mustangs championship squad, joins a Kermodes team that lost 1-0 in the PACWEST provincial championship in Nanaimo.
The Kermodes bowed to the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack, but the silver medal marks the Kermodes’ best result in their four-year playoff history. Spooner said the opportunity is absolutely incredible.
“I wasn’t playing to get to this level. I never thought that I would,” said Spooner.