Breanne Gallagher will step into the spotlight one more time as a South Delta Sun Devil except it won’t be in an athletic arena.
Gallagher will be teaming up with Madison Huehn on June 25 to deliver the valedictory address at SDSS’s commencement ceremony.
“I haven’t written anything yet but I’m definitely going to be talking about soccer,” she smiled.
Tears were flowing when she wrapped up her high school sports career on a sun-baked turf field at Cloverdale Athletic Park after helping the Sun Devils finish fifth at the recent B.C. AAA Championships.
Gallagher, along with graduating teammate Emily Birarda, are two of just six players in the program’s rich history to play all five years on the team.
She wasted little time in making an impression, scoring some key goals in the Sun Devils’ run to a bronze medal on home turf during her Grade 9 year. The clutch scoring continued over the next three seasons and included another third place finish in 2018.
“Emily and I made it provincials for five years in a row and it’s really fortunate we got to experience that,” said Gallagher. “It was a new group every single year and a new challenge.
“It’s been a heck of a journey and it’s so fortunate we got to play all these games and experience all the things we did with the coaches and the girls. You learn something new every day. I’m not sad it’s over, just not getting to experience it all over again with the same girls.”
The pair are also winding down their club season as members of Coastal F.C. of the B.C. Premier Soccer League. The highlight of that run was capturing the U17 Canadian Championship on home soil last October. Gallagher happened to score the game-winning goal in the final against Quebec.
“It was one of the coolest things I ever experienced. Not just the game and tournament but all the preparation and coaching that went into it,” continued Gallagher.
“Months before we all sat down at our first practice and talked about our goals. Then to go out and accomplish them. Quebec was an amazing team that had several national team players.”
The next chapter of her soccer career will take her to the unofficial destination of top recent SDSS athletes — the University of Calgary.
Already featuring a number of former Sun Devil football standouts, she made her commitment to the Dinos midway through her Grade 11 year.
“It was already the top choice for me academically then I looked into the soccer team,” she said. “They have had tons of success and is a kind of program that is on the rise. I am super excited to be part of that.”
It will be a homecoming to the province she spent her infant years before her family left Edmonton for Tsawwassen in 2004.
That’s when her father Ian accepted a position with the Vancouver Giants as strength and conditioning coach and to run the Delta Hockey Academy.
Hockey has always been a huge part of her life — watching her older brothers Brendan and Nolan play. Brendan now stars for the Montreal Canadiens.
Breanne briefly played organized hockey but followed her sister Erin’s path and focused on other sports. She played rep fastpitch and won a provincial silver medal with the Sun Devils junior volleyball team in her Grade 10 year.
“I played hockey for one year and realized I was better at other things,” Gallagher laughed. “We were always around the rink and we had one in our backyard in Edmonton as it was part of our home culture. But our parents encouraged us to try other things and see what we might be good at it. Erin also danced and Nolan and Brendan played football
“I always played more than one sport. You can do it as long as you have balance and my parents have really helped with that.”