A pair of George Stein Memorial Scholarship winners are going coastal and one is staying close to home.
Cole Shoemaker, Mara McLaughlin and Hannah Love each received $500 scholarships for contributing to the North Okanagan Youth Soccer Association over the years. Despite all being soccer enthusiasts, none plan on playing soccer at the CIS level.
Shoemaker’s hobbies are soccer, soccer and more soccer. He doesn’t play as much as he used to, but now focuses on coaching and refereeing the game he loves.
“I would like to think that I am pretty good at it. There’s always going to be people who get mad at you, but I don’t worry about them,” said Shoemaker, who is attending the University of Victoria.
“Cole has done really well with his reffing. It’s unusual to see a kid that good at his age,” said NOYSA coordinator Marina Korberg.
Shoemaker is studying at UVIC’s Gustavson School of Business, while planning to complete a degree in commerce.
“We always look for young people who love and respect the game,” said Stein, who presented the scholarships in honour of his father. “We are honoured to help them with their post-secondary education anyway we can.”
Shoemaker played and coached in the Soccer Patch camps and mentors refs. He claims that is an enriching experience.
While at UVIC, he won’t play for the Vikings, but he will share a field with them.
“I will be reffing their home games. Actually, I will just be doing the lines, but I aim to be in the middle in a year or two,” said Shoemaker, a Seaton grad who turned 18 in September.
Like Shoemaker, McLaughlin is studying at UVIC.
“I have a brother that goes there and an older sister that already graduated there, so I have been there to visit a couple of times,” said McLaughlin. “It’s a beautiful campus, I love the ocean and it’s a good distance from here.”
McLaughlin won’t suit up for the Vikes, but will play in intramural and rec leagues instead.
She was named top all around student at Kal and also received a scholarship from B.C. Soccer. She is taking sciences, but isn’t completely sure what she wants to do with it yet.
McLaughlin has been playing sports since she was four years old.
She grew up playing Vernon rep soccer, but played house league this past season so she could focus on her grades. She also has refereed in the past and coached at the Soccer Patch camps.
Hannah Love is studying kinesiology at UBCO.
She played mainly central midfield and some striker with the Vernon U17/18 rep team last season.
Fast and heads-up on the field, Love wishes to improve her aerial ball control while becoming a better all-round player. She’s a soccer fanatic.
“I am a big fan of the World Cup both male and female,” said Love, 18. “This year I went to one of the women’s World Cup games in Edmonton and it was really awesome and exciting to watch live.”
Love is grateful for the excellent coaching she has received in the youth program.
“I would like to thank John Hughes for all of the commitment he put in to allow us to have such a great rep team for many years; Claire Paterson for all her support and enthusiasm during the Whitecaps Academy and rep sessions and also my dad, Peter Love, who coached my final year playing rep which was so much fun and ended my rep experience on a great year.”
Love also enjoys figure skating and running.
George Stein, who died in 1996, helped found youth soccer in Vernon some 50 years ago. He and the late Fred Mann were key cogs in the construction of the MacDonald Park clubhouse.