Reaping the rewards
Alanna Bekkering, Nolan Wallace and Tom McManus highlighted the TRU WolfPack soccer program’s list of Pacific Western Athletic Association (PWAA) award winners, released this week.
Bekkering was named the PWAA women’s soccer player of the year, Wallace the men’s soccer rookie of the year and McManus the women’s soccer coach of the year.
“I can’t believe it,” said Bekkering, also named a first-team all star for the second time in as many years.
“It is a team award rather than an individual one. We have come into every match with the attitude that people are trying to knock us off. I think what makes this honour so special is that I was named to the first all-star team with two of my friends.”
Bronwyn Crawford and Blair MacKay earned first-team all-star status, while Courtney Daly and Laura Smylie were named to the second team.
MacKay, a fifth-year defender from Kamloops, gave credit to McManus for the team’s and her individual success.
“He is an excellent coach,” MacKay said.
“He got us this far and I hope we make it to nationals again.”
TRU’s women, the No. 1 seed in the PWAA, are set to play fourth-seed Langara in Squamish in Round 1 of the playoffs on Friday, Oct. 26.
No. 2 UBC-Okanagan will face No. 3 Quest of Squamish in the other semifinal, with the winners meeting for the PWAA title on Saturday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m.
The No. 3-seed WolfPack men will meet No. 2 Vancouver Island in the opening round of the post-season on Friday.
No. 1 Douglas will play No. 4 Kwantlen in the other men’s semifinal, with the title tilt being played on Saturday.
Wallace, whose dad, Sean, is the Pack men’s co-head coach, said he was honoured to receive the award his older brother, Justin, earned two years ago.
The pair’s father was bashful when asked what it was like to see another one of his son’s receive the rookie of the year award.
“Not sure what to say about that,” Wallace said.
“As a father I am very proud, but more proud as a coach that we have had two individuals who have got to that level.”
TRU midfielder Ashley Raynes was named to the PWAA first all-star squad, with Wallace, Seb Gardner and Corey Wallis cracking the second all-star team.
This season marked Gardner’s return to the pitch after a bout with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
— With files from TRU