Spencer Young, a senior at OKM, will graduate from the local school in the spring and continue playing his soccer in the Okanagan after signing on to join the UBC Okanagan Heat men's soccer team for the fall of 2016.
KELOWNA, BC - Spencer Young, a left back who has recently returned to play for Kelowna United u18s after two years with TOFC, has signed on to join the Heat next season. The 6’0”, 195 lbs Kelowna native has played various positions throughout his soccer career thus far, though mostly he is slated as a centre-mid, left-back, or centre-back. When he joins the Heat in September, he expects to be playing primarily left-back, as that has been his primary position, on and off, for the last four years.
UBC Okanagan men’s soccer head coach Dante Zanatta is “extremely excited that Spencer has committed to UBCO,” Dante and his Heat coaching staff identified Spencer as a priority for the program.
“As arguably the one of the best outfield players in the Thompson Okanagan region to graduate in the past five years it is wonderful that he has decided to join our program.”
With his high school team at OKM, Spencer has been to Provincials three times in four years. He has been Captain for the last two seasons, during which he has led the team to two provincial championships. In his grade ten year, his second year with the school team, he was named MVP of the provincial tournament, with his OKM side taking second place. He has also played for Team B.C., when he was fifteen, been named to the Commissioner’s 16 for his play in the most recent provincial tournament, and has been named Team MVP with OKM two years in a row.
Spencer has said, when asked what he believes he will be able to bring to the team in 2016, “I find myself to be pretty fast and I like to get involved in the attack, and in the upcoming season I hope to have a good impact on the defensive side of the game while also being able to provide another attacking option going forward.”
Talking about why he chose to come to UBCO, proximity to home was evidently not the only factor. Spencer has known coach Zanatta for a few years, and is excited to play under and learn from him as a part of the Heat. “I’m looking forward to seeing who I will become as a footballer and as a person under coach Zanatta and the team. I feel as though I have an endless amount of stuff to learn, and I look forward to every moment of it.”
“Spencer is a very good athlete with a high work rate,” explains Zanatta who has worked with Spencer in the newly formed Junior Heat soccer program.
Zanatta says specifically that Spencer quickly was able “adapt to our training environment and style of play,” and that “he has the physical tools to be able to deal with the speed, size and strength of CIS football right away, he is a natural left footed player that will help us balance of our team something that we have missed over the past 4 years. He has an extremely good touch on the ball, passing, shooting, and crossing, and we believe that he can step in right away and have an outstanding career at UBCO, if he continues to develop and takes his game to the level that we believe that he can.”
In terms of transitioning from high school to university competition, Young is not daunted by the challenge. “I feel like I am ready for the next step. I am a quick adapter and I think I will adjust to the speed, both mentally and physically, pretty well.”
The academic side of his next step was also a significant factor in Spencer’s decision to become a part of the UBC Okanagan program. “I am planning on taking the Spanish program offered at UBCO. UBCO offers some quality classes that I feel personally are the right fit for me. In the long run, I hope to look back at my academic experience at UBCO and be proud of what I’ve accomplished and feel satisfied with the career path that I have set myself up for.”
With the graduation of two of the starting backline for 2015 UBC Okanagan, in Harrison Shrimpton and Brandon McCallum, the addition of Spencer Young looks to be a solid local piece to the Heat team for 2016, and it should be exciting to see him play as a part of coach Zanatta’s system.