A Farewell to Graduating Players by Paul Stone
We're now ending our fourth season in the ACAC and I knew that this difficult time would come. It's time to say good-bye to three original Vikings and two additional graduating players. However, before we get to that, I want to recognize our international student from Norway.
Ellen Hvidsten came to us from Oslo to study for a semester here in Camrose. It's been great getting to know Ellen and I'm sure she has enjoyed her time here at Augustana and being a Viking. We send Ellen away with a framed team photo and plenty of Vikings swag. I'm sure you will tell everyone about your experience here playing soccer and hopefully a few more may want to enjoy the same experience. Thanks Ellen and stay in touch!
To Victoria Brenton, Cassandra Sanregret, Tara Berger, Bailey Wipf, and Alana Ell. I want to talk to you all as a group for now because we couldn't have built this program from the group up if it hadn't been for the players like yourselves. You came to work every practice, every game, every event that we ran, whether it was for the team or for a school function. You helped set up the team culture that has been the foundation of this program. You've looked after the rookies, who have come in looking wide eyed, and helped them get settled into their new surroundings. I know that they are thankful for all your work. It's been an absolute honour for us coaches to have been a part of your lives. Thank-you for believing in Gil and I and helping build this program that has attracted other athletes to come play soccer and study at this campus.
Tori came to us by way of Main Campus and from the Northwest Territories. With her play and distribution qualities, she quickly found her way into the midfield position. She was becoming a very stable and reliable player in the middle. An unfortunate knee inury shortened was becoming a very solid season for Tori. She became a quiet leader for us and a great personality on and off the field. We are really going to miss her tireless work ethic and character. I hope that she has learned that a gym floor is always going to win the battle. Tori is graduating with her BSc in Chemistry. Wherever life takes you Tori, thanks for becoming a Viking!
I always have a tough time reading Bailey Wipf. Whether she is happy, sad, or mad, I can never tell. That's until one of her smartass comments comes out of nowhere. Bailey has been a very versatile player over her career at Augustana. The only position she hasn't played is in goal. She was a fulltime centre back this season and has done an amazing job of solidifying our back line. She's represented the Viking logo and this campus with class. She's leaving us with her BSc in Chemistry and is going on to eventually become an x-ray technician.
Cass was my first ever out of town recruit and I will never forget the contributions she has made to this program. You're leaving us with your BSc in Psychology and I have no doubt in my mind that you will be succesful in the next chapter of your life. Your leadership on and off the field has been a blessing to this team. You came in as a quiet player, wondering what you were gettig yourself into, and now you're leaving us a leader and a confident young woman. Thanks Cass.
Your career with the Augustana Vikings came to an abrupt end in our first game last season. We were just getting the basketball mentality out of you and you were figuring out how to play in this league. We were still working on the offside law with you, and I think we were getting somewhere. That was a big undertaking. Even though you couldn't play, you still wanted to contribute to the success of this team and become our trainer this season. You've been a terrific role model for these young players coming in with your care and attention to detail while looking after their injuries. We've had our challenges this season and you've been resilient throughout it all. Thank-you for carrying on the legacy left by our previous trainers and showing Nicole the ropes. Alana is leaving us with her BSc in Kinesiology (and lots of debt...).
I pretty much adopted Tara in the summer of 2015 when we travelled to Sherwood Park for soccer together. We had some great conversations during our time in the vehicle and I got to know Tara very well. I can say this: I'm very proud of who she is today. She basically became a member of our family, my third daughter, and has acted like it as well. It took a lot of work to convince Tara to come to Augustana and help build the program, and if you ask her, she's never regretted her decision. The field will never be the same without Tara taking a tumblr (or ten) during our games. I'm not going to dole out any stats, but I know Tara scored the majority of our goals over the last three seasons and set up a bunch more. I don't know what Kelsey is going to do without Tara next year, but someone will have to step up and look after Kels. Tara is leaving us with her BSc Kinesiology and some great friends and memories.
Thanks again to you Vikings for all your hardwork, dedication, and spirit. Go Vikings!