Three good friends and outstanding athletes are about to go their separate ways to pursue the next chapter in their lives.
Emma Mackie, Sam McComb and Nicky Sydor still have grad night and ceremonies to look forward to as Grade 12 students at South Delta secondary school. However, it won't be long after the trio will be leaving Tsawwassen to continue their athletic careers.
Mackie has earned a fullride field hockey scholarship to Providence College.
She departs for the Rhode Island school on Aug. 5.
McComb will also be playing field hockey, except on this side of the border at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Sydor will still be close to home as a member of the UBC women's soccer team but will be living on campus.
"We're ready but nervous at the same time," smiled Mackie. "It's getting closer and closer for all of us.
We're all kind of like 'oh my god we're leaving?' It's a new beginning and a fresh start."
Mackie has known since the start of the school year she was headed to Providence. In Grade 11, she travelled with a Lower Mainland team to a prospects tournament in the U.S. That's where the Big Eight school recruited her and the process was underway. After considering other options, Mackie and her parents made an official visit to Providence in September where she signed her commitment letter.
"It's not the normal process (to sign before you come home) but a lot of people say when you know, you know and I knew (it was the right decision)," said Mackie. "I loved it. It is right by the water and reminds me a lot of home."
McComb also looked to be headed south. She received an offer from Holy Cross and seriously considered the Massachusetts school before realizing her academic options were limited. Instead, she chose Alberta where she will be enrolled in the school's highly respected nutrition science program.
"(Holy Cross) didn't have what I wanted so I went with academics instead," explained McComb. "When I visited (Alberta) it happened to be the coldest day of the year (-30C) so it's something I'm going to have to get use to."
Alberta's field hockey team has always relied on B.C. players to compete in Canada West play. One of the school's top players is North Delta's Jackie Trautman who is a fourthyear student in the nutrition program. She helped McComb with her decision.
Sydor was contemplating playing at a U.S. school when a familiar youth
coach convinced her otherwise. It was not long after Tsawwassen's Mark Rogers took over the coaching reigns at UBC when he persuaded her to be one of the first signings of his 2012 recruitment class.
"I had him as a club coach and already knew how good he was," said Sydor. "He believes a lot in the girls and it will be a real positive atmosphere there. There's also a lot of players to look up to and it will help raise my game to the next level."
Sydor is currently winding down her season with South Fraser of the B.C.
Premier Soccer League. She will then join UBC's team in the Pacific Coast League before training gets underway with the varsity squad in August.