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Portage veterans return for new season

Familiar faces on Voyageur lineup will help teams continue to grow, say coaches

There will be several familiar faces behind the visors of the Portage College men’s hockey season for the 2023-24 season.

Returning players include Shaye Summerfield, Xavier Halterman, and Blake Astorino. Goalies Luke Hall and Alex Brousseau are also returning for the coming season.

That’s the good news …

“While I’m glad that many of these players are returning, unfortunately, we’re losing a big chunk of our top end guys,” Voyageurs’ coach Kevin McClelland tells Lakeland This Week.

McClelland, a  four-time Stanley Cup-winning NHL veteran, said that team officials have been putting a considerable amount of time and energy into recruiting for the upcoming season.

“It has meant spending a lot of time on the phone and reaching out to people as much as possible,” he said., “as well as hanging around rinks.”

Training camp for the Voyageur hockey squad begins on September 5.

Soccer comebacks

Like their hockey counterparts, the Voyageurs men’s and women’s soccer teams are also bringing back many returning players who will be taking to the field in September.

“We have a good group of returning athletes, including Sarah Jones, Ashley Tweedy, Bjorn Goolie and Fiston Kiese, who are going into their third and fourth years,” explained Kika Mukuninwa, the head coach of the men’s and women’s soccer program for Portage College.

Technical  tryouts

With possible athletes coming from communities near and far, college sports recruiters not only travel to arenas and sports fields, but they also hit the virtual highway, interviewing, and sharing information with potential student-athletes.

“We’ve used online platforms such as WhatsApp, which are key to helping build rapport with players well in advance of their arrival on campus,” Mukuninwa stated.

Whether they’ve been recruited in person or online, new players for the soccer season will be on the pitch for the start of training camp on August 8.





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