Women’s Basketball 2018/19 Season Outlook

Women’s Basketball 2018/19 Season Outlook

The 2018-2019 basketball season begins with optimism for the GPRC Wolves Women’s Basketball team. The team returns two senior players with 10 rookies on the roster leading to an exciting time for the program.

Returning players Britney Peters and Derian Geddes will be heavily relied on to set the tone and be leaders for the team. “The athletes I have recruited this year are the foundation that we will build on going forward,” says Head Coach Mandy Botham. Five out of the 10 first years are from Grande Prairie, and nine of the 10 are from Alberta. Notable first years are Lilee Burke-Stasiuk from Edmonton; Sophie Leslie from Grande Prairie; Kelly Reid form St. Albert; Jayden Demchuk from Whitehorse and Heidi Derksen from the Provincial Championship La Crete Women’s Team. The Wolves are also excited to have international recruit Sophie Melin from Sweden who will play a key role on the court.

“We will be very exciting to watch,” says Botham. “We have a young roster and there is a lot of learning happening. Our goal is to get a little bit better every time we step onto the court and so far we are achieving that. The athletes have already developed chemistry with each other and I expect that to continue to grow.”

“I am most looking forward to continuing to build and establish our team culture. The group of athletes we have this season are hard working, competitive and driven and that is exactly what we need to build on to be competitive in our conference.”

XC Running and Indoor Track 2018/19 Season Outlook

XC Running and Indoor Track 2018/19 Season Outlook

A trio of talented recruits, look to bolster the 2018 Men’s Wolves XC Running team in their quest for an ACAC podium finish.  Brandon Tufford (GP Comp), Brice Wilkes (Peace River High), and Miguel Macedo (Spirit River Regional Academy) comprise the strongest recruiting class the Wolves men have had in the past ten years.

Tufford, one of the top high school runners in Alberta last year, is coming off a bronze medal in the 800m at last June’s Provincial High School Championships.  Wilkes was the runner-up to Tufford in the 2017 NW Zone XC Running Championship; Macedo placed third

Joining the talented trio are second-year runners Eric Nooy (Spirit River Regional Academy) and Troy Bogh (St Joes).  In addition, 2004 CCAA National XC Running Champion Kyle Reynolds (GP Comp) returns to the Wolves for his fifth and final year of college athletics.

The Wolves men placed 5th in last year’s ACAC Championships.

The Wolves women, who placed sixth in last year’s ACAC championships, are still in the process of finalizing their 2018 roster.  Veterans Anna Van der Geissen (PWA) and Brittany Duvall (Eaglesham) should lead the way for Wolves women this season.

Both Wolves teams look to be in the hunt for a podium positions at the ACAC championships at the end of October in Vermilion.  While the Red Deer women and SAIT men clearly look to have strangleholds on the top spots for 2018, the Wolves will compete with the likes of Lethbridge College, Concordia University, and the University of Alberta – Augustana Campus for the minor medals.

Both Wolves teams plan to be at CCAA XC Nationals in Toronto on November 10. Last season, the Wolves women ran their best race of the season at Nationals and surprised many by ending up ranked 13th in nation. The men finished 20th at last season’s Nationals.

Next season’s CCAA XC Nationals will be hosted by GPRC in November 2019.

After Nationals in November, the focus shifts to the Indoor Track season.  The Wolves Indoor Track roster should be fairly similar to the XC running roster this year.  Last season’s highlight was a 4th place finish in the 3000m in the ACAC Championships from 2018 Wolves Male Athlete of the Year Brandon Wladyko.

The Wolves plan to contest two ACAC meets in January and February before tackling the ACAC Indoor Track Championships in March.

Coaches Bill Corcoran (28th season) and Rick Scott (27th season) will provide veteran leadership to the Wolves runners in 2018-19.

Men & Women Soccer 2018/19 Season Outlook

Men & Women Soccer 2018/19 Season Outlook

Men’s Soccer

Another highly anticipated season of ACAC soccer will commence at Pomeroy Field on the 7th of September against Kings University. The Wolves tied both games with the same opponents last season.

The Wolves are expected to improve in their standings from last season in the conference. It will be a difficult year with many of the players from last season moving on. Coach Morgan has recruited local lads Leo Rojas, Jared Winnicky-Hussey and Kevin Morgan along with three new faces from the West Coast in the form of right back Noah Mohninger, winger Jacob Jahns and dual sport athlete Tucker McCleod. Jared Perry and Aiden Proctor have arrived from Edmonton while Kash Morrison has rejoined the squad.

Veterans Scott Fraser, Seb Lobe and Brandon Harvey will play an important role helping the new recruits settle in during what should be an interesting campaign.

Coach Morgan hopes the squad can fulfil their potential and reach provincials. “Last season the Wolves did not obtain the results we had hoped despite some fine performances. If we can turn the ties into wins and the narrow losses into ties I have no doubt we can reach provincials.”

Women’s Soccer

With only 4 returnees it will be difficult to repeat the success that the Wolves women had the past two seasons reaching Nationals twice and winning a Provincial title win last year.

It is practically a new team says Coach Morgan but I am excited to see what the new recruits bring to the program. “We cannot look back on past glories, we have to look at the present and the future and keep working hard for success.”

The lady wolves have recruited heavily in the off-season. Local graduates aiming to make their mark are Mariah Kyllo and Bailey Richarde. Tea Brown and Kaitlin Buziak arrive from Fort St John; Sydney Embleton and Kate Allison from Vernon; Sydney Kelly arrives from Vanderhoof, and Danja Fredrickson comes from Vancouver. Calandra Bychyk hails from Edmonton while Jayden Demchuk has travelled from Whitehorse in the Yukon.

Returnees Sam Wiancko, Michelle Brodeur, Madi Gillespie and Alex Verhun will play an important role in leading the new squad through the campaign.

“It is always difficult adding so many recruits and I only hope we can gel quickly, fulfil our potential and bring more success to the program. In our pre-season games in Red Deer the girls showed that we can compete at this level. The games also showed if we are not on our game the 90 minutes can be difficult. I just hope the girls fulfil their potential and grow as both students and athletes,” says Coach Morgan.