After helping their team pick up their second straight bronze medal at the 3A boys’ provincial high school soccer championship in October, three members of the Carlton Crusaders will get to continue their soccer careers in Alberta.
Caleb Parenteau will be suiting up for the Lethbridge College Kodiaks next fall, while Shane Cabilao and Patrick Muhumure will be teaming as members of the Lakeland College Rustlers in Lloydminster.
“It’s a really great opportunity for all three of us,” Parenteau said. “The chance to play soccer and combine that with the chance to go to school has a lot of benefits.
“It’s going to be a higher level of competitiveness for us, not just when it comes to being on the field, but in being in the classroom as well.”
Parenteau, who has spent time as a wing back and a centre back for the Crusaders, got on the Kodiaks radar this past summer as he attended an ID Camp in Alberta.
“I had a few other offers after that camp, but the reason that Lethbridge stood out from everyone else was just how they were always interested and engaged in knowing me and how I was progressing,” Parenteau said.
“I also had a chance to train with them as well and that really helped me to get know the team and what the school offers.”
The Rustlers approached Cabilao and Muhumure at different parts of the season, as Muhumure met their coaches following the summer clubs provincials with the PAYSA Celtics and Cabilao got in touch with the program shortly after this year’s high school championships.
“To be honest, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do at first,” said Muhumure, who plays as a winger for the Crusaders. “However, when they told me that they would pay for my classes and all I had to worry about was my housing, books and food, I figured I’d better take the chance that was given to me.”
“The coaches actually came up to Prince Albert to chat with me, which really showed how much they wanted me to be a part of their program,” added Cabilao, who plays in the midfield. “To have Patrick coming with me will be great, especially as we get used to our new surroundings.”
In addition to playing in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference, the trio will also be studying business at their schools.
“The chance to further our careers is something we’re all focused on doing well in,” Muhumure said.
“Obviously we’d love to keep playing soccer, but the opportunities to play at a high level are really slim here in Canada compared to hockey or football.”
While Cabilao joined the Crusaders this season after transferring from St. Mary, Muhumure and Parenteau have both been with the team since Grade 9 and have watched the program become a contender for provincial titles.
“Those first two years were tough, but over the last two seasons we’ve really gelled with those younger guys that have come into the team, which I think has been a key part of our provincial success,” Muhumure said.
“That chemistry we’ve built up from knowing the guys and the practices every day with Coach (Mark) Odnokon have really helped our development,” Parenteau said. “We’ve become more connected out on the field and it’s also helped us develop close friendships when we aren’t playing.”