Greater Trail soccer players Nathaniel Riemer and Cadel Goertzen are taking their game to the next level.
Riemer and Goertzen have been members of the Whitecaps FC West Kootenay Academy and will successfully graduate from the select team, known as the ‘Caps to College Academy, and go on to study and play soccer at the University of Lethbridge.
For Riemer, being a student-athlete is a dream that is about to be realized.
“Signing with a U Sport team was incredible,” said Riemer. “It’s a great program. The Whitecaps have helped me bring my game to the next level over the last few years. (Academy coaches) Reynold (Stewart) and Brett (Adams) take the time to help you on a personal level, which is extremely helpful and I would definitely not be where I am without them.”
The Trail players excelled in their time at the Whitecaps Academy, which includes players from all over the East and West Kootenays. The Caps to College program trains twice a week and plays in two showcase tournaments throughout the year in Vancouver and Portland. There are four teams in total, a U18/17 and a U16/15 side on both the girl’s and boy’s side.
“The goal of the program is to provide players the exposure and opportunities to play at the college level and we are in regular communication with numerous college and university coaches across the country,” said Academy coach Reynold Stewart. “Players work closely with Ryan Clark, our Manager of Collegiate Transition, to find the best fit for school and soccer after high school.”
The program is currently in its second year and has already comitted seven players to universities and colleges in Canada.
Riemer will pursue his Ba in Education, while Goertzen will study kinesiology.
“It’s taken a lot of work to get to this point and it feels great to be signed with the University of Lethbridge,” said Cadel. “I have been a part of the Whitecaps Academy for more than five years and they have played a crucial role in my development as a soccer player and athlete, cementing the skills I’ve learned to become second nature and getting me in front of college coaches.”
The University of Lethbridge Pronghorns soccer team plays in the Prairie Division of Canada West in the USPORTS league.