Soccer star Katie Lampen and basketball standout Deanna Tuchscherer enjoyed amazing rookie seasons in the Canada West conference in 2019-20. Both were looking to build on that success as sophomores, and lead their University of the Fraser Valley teams to glory.
But those plans have been crushed by COVID-19 and the cancellation of Canada West sports through January.
The conference announced the move Monday morning.
“Stores are opening up and things are actually starting to get better, so I was really hopeful that we were going to have a season,” said Lampen, a Sardis secondary grad who collected seven goals in 16 games as a freshman in 2019. “My team at UFV, we’ve been talking about how this is a good time to regroup and get mentally prepared for the start of the season.
“We were ready to jump back into it, and it is really upsetting.”
Lampen said her team was doing twice-a-week video workouts on Zoom. On her own, she’s been running and training and doing her best to stay motivated and fit.
“Now that I know there’s not going to not be a season, I’m almost more motivated to train harder because now would be the time where I feel I could get off track and out of shape really quick, and I don’t want that to happen,” she said. “We haven’t played a game since early March, and all the momentum and excitement we had is gone now.
“I think there could be girls who will fall off track, and honestly it’s so easy to do that. The best thing we can do right now is stay connected as a team – be there for each other and motivate each other and hold each other accountable.
“That’s all we can really do.”
Tuchscherer is in the same boat as Lampen. She too enjoyed a phenomonal first season at UFV, playing for the women’s basketball team, and looked forward to taking another step in her development.
“We thought this might be the worst case scenario, and we’ve had it in our minds,” she said. “There are challenges that come with it, but there are opportunities as well. It’s not all negative.”
For Tuchscherer, it means more time to get bigger/stronger/faster without having to devote time to lengthy road trips or burn a year of eligibility. It means more time to focus on academics and it opens the door to more hours at a part-time job. It might also mean an extra campaign playing with younger sister Julia if the GW Graham star ends up joining her at UFV.
In the short-term, Tuchscherer is focused on staying sharp with the possibility her Cascades might play a shortened season that begins in January.
“Our coaches have done a good job of trying to keep us all connected and working and doing what we need to do, but it’s not the same as having training camps and competing against each other,” she said. “But when all this started we said, ‘We can use this as an opportunity or we can use this as an excuse.’
“On our team we have accountability triangle where we’re in groups of three, checking in on each other and keeping each other motivated, and hopefully that helps. It’ll show when we get back who’s been putting in the work and who hasn’t.”