Our KES Highlanders girls prep soccer team continued their fall season by visiting Bishop’s University in Lennoxville, Quebec, from November 5 to 8. On Friday, the team boarded the bus to begin the 14-hour trek. With an overnight stay in Woodstock, New Brunswick, the team was up and at it early on Saturday to arrive in time for a late afternoon practice on Coulter Field with Bishop’s University (BU), head women’s soccer coach, Paul Ballard and his coaching staff. Despite the long drive, our girls were in fine form and buzzing all over the field, eager to train and display their collective talent.
Early Sunday afternoon, Coach Ballard delivered his programme’s mission-vision and values presentation to our players and coaching staff, leaving a clear message to our entourage as to what they could expect if they were interested in enrolling at BU and becoming a Gaiter’s soccer player. At 3:30pm, our Highlanders suited up against the Gaiters in three 30-minute scrimmages. Despite the age difference between the university and high school level players, our girls acquitted themselves very well. The final score was 5-0 in favour of BU, but we learned a great deal and had a lot of fun in the process. The physical strength and speed differences were the major factors causing the score line; however, these points provided the necessary areas requiring attention and improvement for every player on our team.
Monday was an incredible day for our programme as we were introduced into the inner workings of the BU women’s soccer programme. The academic-athletic success coach, Mike Andrews, delivered a wonderful presentation on how to balance and achieve success both academically and on the soccer field. After this session, the coaching staff ran a battery of fitness tests they conduct in pre-season with the BU team. The great thing about these tests was our players found out exactly how they scored in comparison with one another (ranking on our team), how they rank in comparison to the BU players (some of our scores were excellent), and what to expect at a university programme. To finish up the morning, Roz Ballard, the BU women’s soccer life skills coach, connected with our girls and spoke on a variety of subjects including exploring the many opportunities awaiting varsity sport graduates, the reasons we play, what it brings to our lives, and the many positive effects varsity sport plays at Bishop’s University. In the afternoon, the Bishop’s University admissions team gave a presentation detailing admissions processes and specifics, and then provided a wonderful campus tour. Following the tour, we said our goodbyes and headed for Edmundston where we stayed overnight before completing the trip home on Tuesday.
Our trip to Bishop’s was truly exceptional because it achieved three important goals. One, our programme was introduced to an outstanding Canadian university. Two, Coach Ballard saw our players play and perform in person, and lastly, our girls were exposed, first-hand, to the expectations and standards of the Bishop’s University women’s soccer programme.
A big thank you to Deputy Headmaster Mr. Glen Faucher, Ms. Jennie Weisner our athletic therapist, and Mr. Wade Trider, our School driver, for their roles in making the trip really fun, entertaining and a great team-bonding experience.
Junior School Teacher
Director of Soccer
Head Coach, Girls Prep Soccer
Head of Male Boarding