By Ottawa Sportspage, for Louis-Riel Rebelles
From home to Hawaii, a half-dozen recently-graduated Louis-Riel high school students will play varsity sports with post-secondary athletic scholarships in hand come this fall.
Kristina Bechthold will be going the farthest from home by far, set to join the Hawaii Pacific University Sharks in Honolulu.
A major draw to the site for Bechthold was the opportunity to study marine biology in the centre of the world’s largest ocean, but combining that with an NCAA soccer career really made Hawaii a dream destination.
“I definitely wanted to keep playing soccer. It’s such a big part of my life,” underlines Bechthold, whose older sister Avery played college soccer in the U.S., and her older brother Haydn (also a Louis-Riel grad) plays with Tadcaster-Albion FC in England while studying at York St. John University.
Also earning athletic bursaries were a pair of Bechthold’s fellow members of the Louis-Riel soccer program, who helped the Rebelles win OFSAA provincial championships bronze in June.
Samantha Lane will soon take the field for the Bishop’s University Gators, while Véronique Filion will join the national-champion University of Ottawa Gee-Gees.
Hockey player Nadia Fournier will also become a Gee-Gee, while Bilan Khadar Hassan will play basketball for the University of Ontario Institute of Technology Ridgebacks, and golfer Jocelyn Ménard is headed to the Maryville University Saints in St. Louis.
On top of the opportunity to spend a portion of their school day training as part of Louis-Riel’s innovative sports-study program, Bechthold says the school’s active and driven student population helps fuel excellence.
“I’ve made so many great friends here at school,” adds the Greely resident. “It’s a very lively and exuberant place. Everyone is friendly, and everyone is motivated. We all want to reach the next level and succeed.”