Five Yukon athletes, so far, have committed to play varsity

Nicole Farkas signs on to join the Olds College basketball team. (Photo submitted)Nicole Farkas signs on to join the Olds College basketball team. (Photo submitted)
Volleyball player Alex Shultz committed to the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. (Photo submitted)Volleyball player Alex Shultz committed to the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. (Photo submitted)
Ecko Kirk signs with the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. (Photo submitted)Ecko Kirk signs with the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. (Photo submitted)
Swimmer Hannah Kingscote shows off her new University of Northern Colorado gear after signing with the bears. (Photo submitted)Swimmer Hannah Kingscote shows off her new University of Northern Colorado gear after signing with the bears. (Photo submitted)

Five Yukon athletes, so far, have committed to playing varsity sports at North American universities this fall, furthering their athletic pursuits.

Quinn Howard

Volleyball player Quinn Howard will be joining the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) Ooks.

“It is great news, I’m really excited for next year and hopefully everything goes well,” said Howard.

Howard said when choosing a school he opted for the institution that offered the best balance between athletics and academics.

“I didn’t really have a main choice for the team necessarily,” said Howard. “The program I’m taking, carpentry, was my main goal and whatever school fit that category is what I was aiming for.”

Howard, who played club ball in Alberta, will be playing outside as a power hitter of the Ooks. The coach, Howard said, he knew previously.

“I knew him personally and he sold me on the program,” said Howard.

What kind of athlete can the Ooks expect?

“One that is hardworking and willing to adapt,” said Howard. “Being a player up here you don’t always get high-end volleyball so I’ll be adapting to that.”

Howard said he’s been on five or six Team Yukon squads. He last played for the Yukon in 2019 at the Western Canada Games. He also made the 2020 Arctic Winter Games team.

When at NAIT, Howard said he will use what he learned in the Yukon, his volleyball and teammate skills at his new school.

“Being a leader up here I’ll be bringing some of those skills down there,” said Howard.

He added he is a strong competitor who is willing to work for what he wants to achieve.

Alex Shultz

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology will have a feared team featuring two Yukoners. Joining Howard at NAIT is Alex Shultz.

“It will be nice to have a familiar face on the team so I won’t be alone. We’ve been playing together since Grade 7 so we are pretty good friends,” said Shultz.

Making a post-secondary team has been a goal of Shultz’s for a while.

“It is kind of a dream come true,” said Shultz. “It is kind of crazy because I have been dreaming of this since Grade 8. Making it to university volleyball is kind of crazy.”

Shultz will be taking personal training at NAIT and after two years said he hopes to transfer to the University of Alberta for kinesiology.

“Originally, I hadn’t been interested in trades, I wanted to be in the sports health field, but when I found the personal training program was transferable to the kinesiology program it was an easy yes for me,” said Shultz.

“I definitely took into consideration what I am going to do after volleyball.”

Shultz, who plays middle and during the club season started practising on the right side, said he has spoken with his coaches about what they will expect from him.

“They warned me I won’t be playing a lot, but if I keep working hard then I’ll make it,” said Shultz. “I’m going to just keep working as hard as I can. It will be lots of work and time in the gym. Working really hard on my form and just trying to get better at the sport.”

Growing as an athlete in the Yukon taught him the importance of hard work.

“You need to work really hard to make the team,” said Shultz. “Throughout my volleyball career, I definitely had some bad times where I didn’t make the team because I thought I was good enough.

“Now, I’m working harder and harder because I want to play. I don’t want to be on the bench.”

Nicole Farkas

Basketball player Nicole Farkas will be taking her talents to Olds College to become the newest Bronco.

Farkas, who will be studying sports management, said she was mulling several options before deciding on Olds.

“I had other choices,” said Farkas. “I got my Arctics coach Sean McCarron to email a bunch of schools in Alberta and send film to see what they would say, and I decided on Olds.”

Farkas has played on several Yukon teams, including the Western Canada Games squad and would have represented the Yukon at the cancelled 2020 Arctic Winter Games.

Although she has not met her teammates, she said they can expect a hard-working athlete who is willing to learn anything.

Playing basketball in the Yukon, Farkas said she had to find creative ways to continue to improve. This is a lesson she will bring with her to post-secondary career.

“Being a basketball player here there isn’t much female competition,” she said.

Farkas has been taking every opportunity to get on the court, practicing with the senior boys team at Vanier and with Wolf Pack squads. She also plays in the Filipino league.

“It’s been about getting as much basketball in as I can in a small territory to help me further improve and be ready for the next level. Especially with COVID, I’ve been finding ways to get better,” she said.

Ecko Kirk

Haines Junction hockey player Ecko Kirk is no stranger to playing Outside as she currently plays for Pilot Mound, a hockey academy in Manitoba.

Come fall, Kirk will be headed to the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary to join the Trojans.

“I was definitely relieved when I found a school,” said Kirk, who will be studying nutrition before hopefully transferring to a paramedic program. “I had a couple of offers, but when I talked to the coach I realized it was the place for me and I was really relieved and happy.”

When she hits the rink for the first time with her teammates, Kirk said they can expect a team-oriented player.

“What I bring to a team is I’m a very good team player,” said Kirk. “Obviously there is no ‘I’ in team and I’m always about the success of the team. I’m not a selfish player and I lead by example as well, so I can bring that to the team as well.”

Kirk attended Pilot Mound starting her Grade 11 year, but will be taking lessons from the Yukon with her to post-secondary school.

“Growing up here, dedication is really important,” said Kirk. “In the Yukon, we struggle for numbers in all sports so being dedicated, it matters. Consistency is the main thing.”

In making a varsity hockey team, Kirk hopes she inspires other young women to pursue their dreams.

“That’s definitely one of the things I want to do,” said Kirk. “I know growing up in the Yukon and being a female sports player it can be discouraging at times. As long as you work hard and keeping doing what you love you can achieve your goals – whatever they may be.”

Hannah Kingscote

Swimmer Hannah Kingscote will be taking the plunge into varsity sports with the University of North Colorado Bears.

“I’ve been talking to them for a year-and-a-half now and I really like the coach and have heard nothing but good things so it was definitely one of my first choices,” said Kingscote who will be studying sports and exercise science.

It is a big move for Kingscote, but at least the mascot will remain the same – in the Yukon Kingscote was a swimmer for the Glacier Bears.

“You got to keep it consistent,” she said.

When Kingscote gets to dive into the pool with her new teammates, she said they will see someone ready to put the work in to contribute right away.

“They can expect a lot of hard work,” said Kingscote. “I’m going to be one of the new kids on the team so I have to earn my spot. I want to be a contributing factor to lots of points at conference and dual meets.

“As well, I want to be a positive person and teammate and be friends with everyone on the team.”

In university and collegiate sports, Kingscote said swim times help contribute to team ranking and success.

Kingscote said her new team has been on the upswing the past couple of years and hopes to contribute to a conference championship during her time as a Bear.

Although making the move to the States, Kingscote said she will carry the lessons learned in the Yukon with her.

“Being a multi-sport athlete, not just swimming, one thing I’ve learned and been able to carry to other aspects of my life is your actions affect everyone around you,” said Kingscote. “Your hard work is going to help other people in the long-run as well.

“That’s something I am hoping will help me on the swim team.”

Contact John Tonin at john.tonin@yukon-news.com

Local Sports

Just Posted

Lorraine Kuhn is seen with one of the many volleyball teams she coached. (Photo submitted by Sport Yukon)
The Yukon Sports Hall of Fame inducts the late Lorraine Kuhn

Lorraine Kuhn became the newest member of the Yukon Sports Hall of Fame for her work in growing volleyball amongst other sports

File Photo
A Yukon judge approved dangerous offender status for a man guilty of a string of assaults in 2020.
Yukon judge sentences dangerous offender to indefinite prison term

Herman Peter Thorn, 51, was given the sentence for 2020 assaults, history of violence

Crystal Schick/ Yukon News A former residential school in the Kaska Dena community of Lower Post will be demolished on June 21. Crystal Schick/ Yukon News
Lower Post residential school demolition postponed

On June 21, the old residential school in Lower Post will be demolished and new ground on a multi-cultural centre will be broken

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley announced 29 new COVID-19 cases on June 19 and community transmission among unvaccinated individuals. (Yukon News file)
Yukon logs record-high 29 new COVID-19 cases

F.H. Collins prom attendees and some Porter Creek Grade 9 students are instructed to self-isolate as community transmission sweeps through unvaccinated populations

Willow Brewster, a paramedic helping in the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre, holds a swab used for the COVID-19 test moments before using it on Nov. 24. The Yukon government is reopening the drive-thru option on June 18. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Drive-up COVID-19 testing opening June 18 in Whitehorse

The drive-up testing will be open from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. everyday and increase testing capacity by 33 spots

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council at its June 14 meeting

Murray Arsenault sits in the drivers seat of his 1975 Bricklin SV1 in Whitehorse on June 16. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Bringing the 1975 Bricklin north

Murray Arsenault remembers his dad’s Bricklin, while now driving his own

A presumptive COVID case was found at Seabridge Gold’s 3 Aces project. (file photo)
Presumptive COVID-19 case reported at mine in southeast Yukon

A rapid antigen rest found a presumptive COVID case on an incoming individual arriving at the 3Aces project

Jonathan Antoine/Cabin Radio
Flooding in Fort Simpson on May 8.
Fort Simpson asked for military help. Two people showed up.

FORT SIMPSON—Residents of a flooded Northwest Territories village expected a helping hand… Continue reading

A woman was rescued from the Pioneer Ridge Trail in Alaska on June 16. (Photo courtesy/AllTrails)
Alaska hiker chased off trail by bears flags down help

ANCHORAGE (AP)—An Alaska hiker who reported needing help following bear encounters on… Continue reading

Two participants cross the finish line at the City of Whitehorse Kids Triathlon on June 12 with Mayor Dan Curtis on hand to present medals. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
2021 Kids’ Triathlon draws 76 young athletes

Youth ages five to 14 swim, run and bike their way to finish line

NDP MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq rises in the House of Commons, in Ottawa on May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Unacceptable’ that Inuk MP felt unsafe in House of Commons, Miller says

OTTAWA—It’s a “sad reflection” on Canada that an Inuk MP feels she’s… Continue reading

Lily Witten performs her Canadian Nationals beam routine on June 14. John Tonin/Yukon News
Three Yukon gymnasts break 20-year Nationals absence

Bianca Berko-Malvasio, Maude Molgat and Lily Witten competed at the Canadian Nationals – the first time in 20 years the Yukon’s been represented at the meet

Most Read