After years of nurturing in the UNBC Timberwolves academy ranks alongside her development as a star athlete in the Prince George and Quesnel youth soccer ranks, it became official of Friday.
Sohanna Bains has joined the T-wolves’ pack.
The 17-year-old College Heights Secondary School student has committed to UNBC for the 2021-22 Canada West season.
“It’s unreal. It doesn’t feel like it’s happening. It’s a dream come true,” Bains told UNBC sports information officer Rich Abney. “I have always wanted to play for UNBC, so I am just excited. It is so exciting to think of all my friends and family, watching games in Prince George. To see me, from playing in PGYSA to UNBC, it’s pretty cool.”
Bains captured the interest of UNBC women’s team head coach Neil Sedgwick while playing in the Epic Junior Timberwolves Academy. She’s been impressed with the encouragement and direction he has given her the past few years to further her soccer career to the point where she’s ready to step up to the university level, where she will fill a role as fullback/midfielder.
“He is very calm when he is coaching,” Bains said. “He is almost like a friend, not just your coach. In Grade 10, Neil invited me to some practices. It was a feeling of ‘wow, I can actually do this’. I realized playing for a U Sports team could be a goal.
“I think, as a fullback I am pretty quick, so I will be running those lines. I have good vision on the pitch, so definitely some good passes.”
Bains started playing the game when she was four. Two summers ago, while living in Quesnel, where she was coached by Jim Nicholas, Bains and her team won a BC Provincial B Cup championship. Bains is also familiar with T-wolves assistant coach Jo Wankling, another one of her former youth soccer coaches.
The five-foot-four Bains is already familiar with most of her T-wolves teammates, having practiced with them, and that should ease the adjustment she faces this summer.
“For me, it is definitely going to be the physicality,” she said. “Now we are playing girls five years older than me, and I am a pretty small person - the overall intensity. Everyone wants to be good, and to win. Just playing with girls like that will be challenging, but it will be fun.
“Overall, my development from Grade 8 to Grade 12 has been huge. To see how far I can push that over the next four or five years, to see how my goals change, and maybe play on past university level, we’ll see.”
Bains, an aspiring physiotherapist/athletic therapist, is on the Principal’s List at College Heights and will be entering the health sciences program next fall at UNBC.
“Sohanna, like Morgan Holyk this year, is a product of our Timberwolves Academy,” said Sedgwick. “Hearing the same messaging for years now, she understands our references and has a great relationship already with our student athletes. It will be fun to watch her continue to grow when she is full time in the program. I am truly excited to welcome her to our team.”