Keeper Nicholas Reitsma, out of Kelowna’s Aberdeen Hall Prep School, is the newest recruit to join the UBC Okanagan Heat men’s soccer program.
The 6-foot-3 Reitsma was the captain and MVP for his Abderdeen Hall team in each of the last two seasons.
He’s also the assistant captain of the Thompson Okanagan Football Club U18 boys team.
Reistsma is well-travelled, having lived in Calgary, Egypt, Holland and Houston, Texas, before moving to Kelowna.
During his eight years in Houston, he played for the Houston Dynamo Pre-Academy, and was a member of the regional U.S. National Team training camps.
Over this most recent season with Aberdeen Hall, Reitsma managed four clean sheets, stopped four of five penalties, and only conceded three goals on the campaign. On top of that impressive stat line, Nicholas takes both sides of the label of student-athlete seriously. He is also the elected vice-president of the student council, which he has been a part of for the past three years, and he is also an honour roll student.
Looking ahead to what he will be able to bring to the 2016 Heat, Reitsma seems ready to make a difference.
“Hopefully this year and in the years to follow I can be a brick wall in goal which can help the team into the playoffs,” he said. “I want to be a confident goalkeeper who can be relied upon in key games while providing consistency in net.”
Heat coach Dante Zanatta believes Nicholas will not only fit a need on his roster but will also have the chance to have an impact on the club.
“With the graduation of Logan Ellis securing another keeper was a priority,” Zanatta said. “We feel that we have one of the top keepers in western Canada joining our program, with Nicholas and Tait (Cuthill, a three-year starter). I believe that we have the position covered very well and I look forward to seeing these two pushing each other in preseason and the coming years.
“Nicholas has great size,” Zanatta added, “good hands and is very good with his feet which is very important in how we need our keepers to be, his desire to excel both in the classroom and the field are very important to us as we continue to build our program at UBCO…”
In then classroom, Reitsma plans to study in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, graduating with a Bachelor of Science.
“I was attracted to UBCO because of its location and its affiliation with UBC,” he said. “The fact that I can stay at home and graduate with a degree from UBC really attracted me.”