These days Taylor Katsube is trying to help the South Delta Sun Devils win a provincial volleyball championship and is also chasing down pucks with her girls ice hockey team, yet, it’s another sport she will be turning her full-time attention to next fall at the NCAA Division One level.
The Grade 12 student, and multi-sport athlete, has officially signed a field hockey scholarship offer from the University of Maine.
The Black Bears are part of the NCAA Division One’s American East Conference and have a tradition of recruiting B.C. talent. Their 2021 roster featured six players from the west coast.
Katsube made a verbal commitment back in her Grade 11 year and the decision was finalized after an official visit to the Orono, ME campus back in October.
“I got to meet the team and watch a game that happened to be their seniors' night so it was great timing,” said Katsube. “I play with some girls who had already graduated from Maine and they told me how nice it was and how much fun they had there. It made me want to go there even more.”
Growing up, she was encouraged by her parents to try a number of different sports and she has certainly done that.
She has also played soccer and school basketball before lessening the load when her field hockey career took her from the hometown Delta Falcons program to the Vancouver Polar Bears women’s team, based out of Eric Hamber.
“I have grown up playing sports. So did my parents and my brothers,” she said. “I’m in season right now with three of them and it can get busy and complicated, but when you look at field hockey, it’s generally a mixture of ice hockey and soccer with the stick skills, so it has helped me from that aspect, along with the game sense you develop.”
The signing with Maine concluded an extensive process that began two years ago when the talented forward established herself with the provincial team program. She participated at the Shooting Star Tournament in Virginia in November 2019 and also registered with Next College Student Athlete (NCSA), a U.S. based recruiting service. Her stock increased further when she was selected by Field Hockey Canada to play for the U16 Next Generation Team in a series of games against the U.S. last year.
Throw in the fact Katsube also thrives in the classroom as a fixture on the Principal’s Honour Roll and a multi-academic award winner, and the interest from potential schools was immense.
“At one point I was talking to about 30 to 40 schools. There were quite a few Zoom calls, but with COVID I really couldn’t do any official visits. My first one was actually Maine,” she said.
Katsube is now focused on helping her top-ranked girls volleyball team win its first provincial title since 2014, starting Thursday in Nanaimo. It’s these type of moments that have provided lasting memories and friendships.
“The nice thing is you have your school friends and your sports friends,” added Katsube, who is looking to major in marketing and communications. “You meet so many different people through sports and it’s like you have all these separate lives on different teams. It’s part of the reason why playing so many sports is so great.”