This is part of a series about Comox Valley student athletes who are moving onto the next level in their sport.
Cameron Kearns wasn’t even thinking about competing at the varsity level. But when she and her U18 Riptide teammates were in Seattle for the Starfire Soccer Showcase, she was approached by some University of Lethbridge coaches who were scouting players. After the first game, the coaches said they would continue to watch her play, and to expect an imminent email.
“When I got home, I had an email within three days and I had a scholarship offer,” said Kearns, a 2018 graduate from Isfeld Secondary. “I initially had no intention of going to play university soccer. Now I’m really excited about it.”
Before leaving in August for Lethbridge, she competes at the A Cup provincial soccer tournament in Richmond with the U18 Riptide, which hasn’t lost a regular season game this year.
It will be the third provincial tournament in recent weeks for Kearns. With the Isfeld Ice, she was in Kamloops for soccer provincials and Williams Lake for the B.C. high school girls rugby tourney. The honour roll student has also excelled in track and field, and was a two-time provincial champion in highland dance.
On the soccer pitch, Kearns has been playing right midfield, where speed is an asset. She also excels at crossing the ball.
She learned a lot about ‘The Beautiful Game’ during her Grade 11 year when she studied and played soccer in Denmark. With Efterskolen ved Nyborg, her team finished fifth at the 2017 World Schools Championship in Prague, Czech Republic.
“It was incredible,” Kearns said of her experience in Denmark. “I absolutely loved it.”
The world tournament was mostly comprised of European sides, though her team had the daunting task of playing against Brazil.
“It was the strangest thing when you didn’t understand what the other team was saying,” Kearns said. “I’m used to knowing what the other team is saying on the field. It’s so much more challenging. You can’t pick up what the coaches are saying to their players. (It was) The highest level of soccer I’ve played, by far.”
She has earned a full scholarship to attend the U of Lethbridge. She plans to become an accountant.
Kearns isn’t the only member of the U18 Riptide bound for the Pronghorns women’s soccer team. Kaleigh Harris of Port Hardy, who was in Denmark with Kearns, also accepted a scholarship to Lethbridge. The soccer team will play at UVic and UBC in its second week of games.