2 Whitehorse teens 'over the moon' to make varsity soccer teams

Jamie Joe-Hudson and Skyler Bryant are forerunners of a strong crop of soccer players in the territory, according to the co-manager of a Whitehorse soccer academy.

Jamie Joe-Hudson and Skyler Bryant are forerunners of strong crop of soccer players, coach says

Young players gather every day after school at the Canada Games Centre for training at the Total Soccer Excellence Academy. (Dave Croft/CBC)

Two high school students in Whitehorse are thrilled about joining soccer teams at prestigious eastern universities this fall.

Jamie Joe-Hudson is going to Bishop's in Lennoxville, Quebec. Skyler Bryant is going to Dalhousie in Halifax.

"I am really excited, it's like a dream come true. I feel like a lot of people really wish to go off to university, and I'm really honoured I got to go," said Joe-Hudson.

Bryant says the coach at Dalhousie emailed him the good news without the two ever having met.

Skyler Bryant will play for the men's soccer team at Dalhousie University this fall. (Dave Croft/CBC)

"He just emailed me back, and said, 'You know what, we're looking to give you a scholarship too.' And I just jumped around my room and I was just over the moon with it, super thrilled, " he said.

"He hasn't seen me play yet, so that's the scary part. But hopefully he won't hate me," joked Bryant. 

Bryant's goal is get a degree in kinesiology, leading to training in physiotherapy.

Joe-Hudson is entering the business program at Bishop's.

Jamie Joe-Hudson is going to Bishop's University after graduating from F.H. Collins Senior Secondary in Whitehorse this spring. (Dave Croft/CBC)

Both say the education they'll receive is more important than the soccer, but one of their coaches, Jake Hanson, said "they're ready to go."

"I'd expect both Jamie and Skyler to step in and certainly be fighting for starting spots on both their university teams." 

He co-manages the Total Soccer Excellence Academy in Whitehorse. It runs five days a week after school.
Hanson said 60 Yukon students have made college and university teams since 2000.

Jake Hanson, far right, is one of the co-managers of the Total Soccer Excellence Academy. (Dave Croft/CBC)

But he said these two — numbers 61 and 62 — are the first players to be signed by their teams before the beginning of the school year.

Hanson predicts there will be more outstanding players leaving Whitehorse to join varsity teams in the near future. He said the skill levels of students currently in the system are strong.