2012Oct 23

SPAD Student-Athlete Profile: Matthew Wilkes

By SPAD Blogger Cameron Brooks

Another SPAD frosh has entered the scene for Voyageurs Athletics – soccer player Matthew Wilkes. Matt is from Whitby, ON and a graduate of Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School where he played 5 years of soccer for the Wildcats. Wilkes’ high school coach was Tom Plommer, who was a key figure in the success of the Voyageurs Men’s soccer team back in the 1980’s. We were able to sit down with Matt and chat about his time at Laurentian so far.

Q: How have you enjoyed your first season with the Voyageurs and how did you fit in with the team?

A: I feel like I fit in well with the team, they are a great bunch of guys. I have really enjoyed the first two months of school playing on the team and it feels like I’m part of the whole Laurentian varsity family now.

Q: How did it feel to get into your first OUA game this past week against the University of Toronto?

A: It felt great getting my first OUA game under my belt. I was a little shaky and nervous for the first 10 minutes, but once I got a few touches on the ball, I started playing my game and it turned out to be a good game. The coaches were very happy with my play in the half and it made me feel like I really was a key part in the result of the game.

Q: With your high school coach being a former Voyageur, did he have any influence on your decision to attend Laurentian? Was his coaching style similar to how the men’s team plays?

A: Mr. Plommer had some impact on my decision to come to Laurentian, he told me about the SPAD program and it seemed like a good opportunity for me. He also mentioned that Austin graduate and a former teammate of mine, Cameron Brooks, was playing there and I thought it would be nice to play with a familiar face again. My high school team played more of an attacking style of soccer so it was much different than how we play now, but the Voyageurs mentality was definitely there.

Q: Why did you select SPAD instead of other programs you may have applied for?

A: I’ve had an interest in business for a few years now and the idea of working in the sport business industry is definitely something I will pursue after my varsity career. Because SPAD is such a unique program, there will probably be some exciting opportunities for me after graduating that lead to an enriching career in sport business that I wouldn’t have been able to get anywhere else.

Q: Finally, how have you enjoyed being in the SPAD program so far?

A: Words cannot describe how I feel about the SPAD program so far. The program is everything I ever wanted in a university degree. The SPAD family welcomed me with open arms, and showed how from first to fourth year, everyone cares about the program. I’ve made a great group of friends, including Cole Dinsmore, Simon Tomlinson, Kevin Baxter, and finally my teammate Kevin Murphy. I can’t wait to see how the rest of this year turns out and it’s going to be a great four years with the program.

         It was good to catch up with Matt and see that he’s enjoying his time in the SPAD program and playing for the Laurentian Voyageurs soccer team. We thank Matt for letting us speak with him and we wish him all the best as he moves forward in his career with the Voyageurs and SPAD.

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