Thursday, December 20, 2012 - Submitted by Jon Zacks
It’s been a big week for the West Kelowna Warriors.
Veteran defenceman Josh Monk committed to Providence College earlier in the week, and now two more promising young players have ironed out their futures.
Star forward Seb Lloyd announced his plans earlier on Thursday via twitter (@Sebway4). “Committed to Harvard 2014 thanks to everyone who helped me reach my goal #dreamcometrue.”
Now in second season with the Warriors, the 18 year-old is enjoying a breakout season.
The Prince George native has notched 33 points (15+18) in 25 games so far.
In addition, the star forward was an integral part of a silver medal-winning Team Canada West at this year’s World Junior ‘A’ Challenge in Nova Scotia. At the event, Lloyd scored the lone goal of the semi-final, and was then named Canada West’s player of the game in the final.
“I’m really excited I get to go to a place like Harvard” Lloyd says of the opportunity. “It’ll be unreal to combine great schooling with a top-flight hockey program. It’s what I’ve been looking for all along.”
Lloyd adds that the chance to attend an ivy-league institution is an important stepping-stone for him. “My parents have always stressed education. Hockey is going to end someday for all of us, so an ivy league degree will set me up very well for life after hockey.”
Lloyd will be joining Adam Plant at Harvard, with the Warriors’ rookie defenceman having already committed to the Crimson this past summer.
Meanwhile, David Pope is also on his way to the NCAA, having accepted a scholarship to the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Likewise in his second year with the Warriors, Pope has become one of the team’s most reliable scorers, contributing 19 points (7+12) in 24 games this season.
Also 18 years old, the Edmonton native says he’s delighted to have committed to the UNO Mavericks.
“Getting a division I scholarship has been my goal since before I started playing Junior” an excited Pope declares. When I was down there, there wasn’t one single thing I could see that I didn’t like. It’s a nice place, they have great coaches, and it just seems like a good fit for me.”
And amidst the excitement of sending two more young men to prestigious NCAA programs, the Warriors are also sowing the seeds for their future.
While commitments like these should be able to help the Warriors (and the BCHL) with future recruiting, there is a more concrete upshot for West Kelowna.
Both Lloyd and Pope have committed for the 2014-15 season, meaning both will play for the Warriors next year before heading to college.
“We’re obviously thrilled for both of these guys and their families” says Warriors Head Coach Rylan Ferster of the commitments. “There are skilled young players and (more importantly) great people who have worked hard for this chance. Of course, we’re also expecting big things from them over the next year and a half.”
David Pope is currently nursing an upper-body injury, and will be a game-time decision for this weekend’s action. Seb Lloyd will be in the lineup as the Warriors take on Salmon Arm.
The Warriors host the Silverbacks on Friday night, before playing in Salmon Arm on Saturday.