Up Island trio named Top 20 Valley Youth Athletes
On Jan. 6 the Top 20 Valley Youth Athletes of the Year were named at the News Leader Pictorial’s awards banquet hosted at Shawnigan Lake School. Among the athletes were three up island field hockey talents who have excelled in their high school, regional, provincial and premier team experiences all year.
Cowichan Secondary’s Stefanie Langkammer was named No. 4 on the list, while Francis Kelsey’s Claire Seeliger was named No. 13 and Shawnigan Lake’s Casey Crowley was named No. 16. All three are members of Team B.C. squads and the island’s premier Wildcats team.
No. 4 STEFANIE LANGKAMMER
1. My proudest moments in 2013 would be winning Nationals in the summer with an amazing team for the third summer in a row. Second would be when my school team won the Bridgman Cup in November for the first time in 11 years. It was such a memorable experience to finish my Grade 12 year after a shootout and aggressive game. Coming out on top was a great feeling.
2. Something that I will never forget throughout all of my years playing are all the amazing coaches I’ve had. Each and every coach has different tricks and strategies. Getting endless hours of practices and games with them, I have learned so much. From school field hockey having Jen Budding and Gill Braun, to spending my summers with Bubli and Jen Cohan along with Leila and others. Being invited to a National I.D. camp with Robin D’Abreo. Spending most of my time being coached by Krista Thompson, whether it being on a team or small group sessions. I am so appreciative of all the time each coach has given me throughout the years.
3. The person I love playing with and competing against the most is Claire Seeliger. Playing against her is always a challenge but we push each other and always have fun even when we’re on different teams. Being on the same team as Claire is definitely better, especially when we get to travel and billet with each other. The best part is having a friend who is always there for you on and off the field no matter what.
4. Two of my biggest role models would have to be Jen Budding and Gill Braun. These two have been the biggest part of my high school field hockey. I’ve been playing for Jen for the past three years on her team. Jen is an amazing coach and no matter what the circumstances she supports her team to the fullest — always there for us whenever we needed her. Gill came to coach our team one year ago and I think that was one of the best things that had happened to me. Gill will go out of her way to do anything for anyone and when she’s on the field it’s 100% field hockey. Due to a new job she was unable to coach us, but she was always there texting us after every game and made a special appearance in our final day of provincials. Thank you both for making my high school field hockey years the best they could have been.
5. Since field hockey is such a huge part of my life, I definitely had to decide if I was going to play or push it aside for something else. It took a while to figure out a way to balance everything. Missing school and not being able to attend family and friend events tend to be missed most of the time. When people in your life are always there for you, it’s not hard to make the choice to play and do something you love.
6. Field hockey has had a huge impact on my life since a very young age. I can’t see myself giving up on it anytime soon. Playing university field hockey is something I hope to do, this coming fall. This sport will always be a huge part of my life no matter how old I am. I hope to continue to coach and give others the experience I had when I was young.
No. 13 CLAIRE SEELIGER
1. My proudest moment of my 2013 year would probably have been when my B.C. team won gold at this past summer’s National Championships. It was my first time being on a provincial A team and I’d never won a gold medal at a National championships. So it had been my goal of this year to make that team and when I did, I was ecstatic. Another proud moment of mine this year was when I got invited to a National Camp for the Junior National Team. I spent a week in Vancouver with Stefanie Langkammer as well, and we had a week-long camp with multiple practices and games every day with coaches of the Women’s Canadian National team. It was hard training but we all learned a lot and it was a great experience.
2. The most unexpected thing that happened to me this year was when a huge supporter of mine and the field hockey community suddenly passed away. Les Mann, had been a part of the field hockey community for many years and he had always taken the time to talk to me and encourage me in my field hockey career. He always gave me supportive and reassuring encouragement to be the best I can possibly be and I will always feel gratitude and thankfulness towards him for that. I will miss seeing his smiling face and hearing him cheer at future field hockey tournaments and around the Cowichan Valley.
3. A player I admire that I compete against is Caitlin Evans. She plays for the University of British Columbia and was one of my former high performance coaches when I was 13 years old. I admire her for her hard work ethic and her sportsmanship. When I’ve played Caitlin in the past in Premier and indoor, she plays with incredible skill and effort level, which I have always admired. She is an example of a great leader and role model for any field hockey player.
4. My role model is Ali Andersen (formerly Fraser). She is a former UVic player, my high school coach and good friend. Ali is such an inspiration because she has always been involved with field hockey for many years but has managed to keep a career and family going as well. I idolize her for her skills and knowledge of the game and way of being able to keep such a balanced, happy lifestyle. When I grow up I want to be able to continue to play field hockey and have a family and career just like how Ali has done.
5. Playing competitive sports you do miss out on certain social events, if you are dedicated to your sport. You also have to make decisions between your sport and other activities going on in your life due to conflicting schedules. Dance was one activity that I had to give up because of the many times it conflicted with my training and tournaments. It was a choice I understood I had to make to achieve my goals. I realize there are choices and sacrifices you have to make as an athlete but all of the experiences and fantastic people I have met through my field hockey career, far outweigh those sacrifices.
6. I believe being involved in competitive sport teaches you how to work hard and train for your goals. People aren’t just going to give things to you in life, they will present you with opportunity and it is your choice on whether you want to work for it or not. I think playing field hockey and being on these kinds of teams has also taught me friendship, coachability, teamwork and dedication. I think all of these skills will impact how I work through problems in jobs and relationships later on in life.
No. 16 CASEY CROWLEY
1. My proudest sporting moments of 2013 were being a teammate on Field Hockey B.C.’s U18 Blue Team that won the Canadian U18 National Championship in July and when I captained Shawnigan Lake School senior field hockey team to win its second-ever B.C. AA Provincial title in November.
2. The most unexpected thing that happened to me was being pulled up to the top FHBC U18 team. Since I was still eligible to play on the U15 team, I was happy and excited when I was selected on one of the FHBC U18 Development teams. Being able to have the experience to play with some of the top girls in the province was a huge opportunity.
3. The team I most admire is Crofton House School. This year in the Provincial finals we had a tough game against them. They have some great players on their team that I was fortunate enough to play with in the summer. Those players’ skills made a huge impact on the flow of their team’s performance, allowing them to have multiple opportunities, keeping the pressure on us until the final whistle went.
4. I have never really had a favourite athlete. I watch multiple teams play and see what I can learn from different athletes; because for me, not just one athlete has it all.
5. Becoming so dedicated to field hockey has made me give up some other competitive sports that I love to play such as basketball and soccer.
6. Playing in a team sport such as field hockey has taught me many things. The biggest one would be my leadership skills I have developed throughout the past years and also the ability to work in a team, showing me it is OK to rely on others at times.