KSS field hockey star Jonel Boileau off to NCAA

KSS field hockey player Jonel Boileau will be taking her field hockey skills to the NCAA next year at Hofstra university. - Dave Connor
KSS field hockey player Jonel Boileau will be taking her field hockey skills to the NCAA next year at Hofstra university.
— image credit: Dave Connor

Soccer, ice hockey, ringette, track and field, volleyball, basketball and, oh yeah, field hockey. There's not many sports that Grade 12 Kelowna Secondary School athlete Jonel Boileau hasn't played.

Since Grade 10, though, Boileau's best sport has been field hockey.

Next year it will be her only sport as the graduating senior has signed a full-ride American college scholarship to play field hockey.

Boileau, 18, will take her goal scoring talents to NCAA Div. I school Hofstra, located in Long Island, New York.

"It's kind of going to be weird, I think I'm going to miss all these sports," said Boileau, speaking on the team bus as the KSS girls soccer team headed for a tournament. "But it will be nice to focus on field hockey and not have a break in the season. I'm definitely going to miss playing soccer and doing some track though."

But in signing a scholarship to a top American school, Boileau will be able to focus on the sport she loves the most in field hockey. During high school, on a powerhouse KSS team that last year claimed the gold medal at the provincials, Boileau was the top sniper, scoring over 30 goals in each of her three seasons.

It was no doubt it was that scoring touch that helped her sign with Hofstra, a team that is coming off a tough year in the NCAA, suffering some serious injuries and losing three or four of its top players to graduation this year.

The chance to play in New York was too much to pass up for Boileau, who was looking to attend U Vic until early this year when she started to research other opportunities.

She first contacted Hofstra and sent a highlight video that attracted the attention of the Hofstra coach. A visit to the school in March sealed the deal for Boileau as well as the school and the deal was done.

"I was planning to stay in Canada but then I started to think about my plans in the future and I wanted to travel and play field hockey. Being able to do both and go to school as well is the best thing that could have happened," she said. "It was all about location. I really can't imagine a cooler place to live than New York."

After years of being one of the top players on one of the top high school teams in B.C., Boileau will have to start fresh at Hofstra next year, attempting to step into the highly competitive world of the NCAA. There are some roster openings and she plans to do her best to grab one of them as a freshman.

"They have a gap in their forward lines so I hope to step in and fill the gap and replace some of the girls that are leaving," said Boileau. "I will just have to work hard and see what happens."

In school Boileau says she is interested in international business and says she will be plenty busy next year, adjusting to university athletics as well as academics.

And that will likely keep her from missing too many of those old sports she is so used to playing.

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