Fifth-year seniors reflect on their careers with the Capilano Blues

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Demmi Skierka Womens Soccer (2011-2015) 

Playing soccer at Capilano for 5 years has helped me grow so much as a person. Not only have I improved my fitness and health during these years, but the spirit and cohesiveness of my team every year almost gives me a sense of accomplishment. I always relate sports to other activities in life, and if I can overcome a challenge on the field, there's no reason why I shouldn't be able to accomplish anything else. Having started from a young 17-year-old rookie and ending as captain of a group of young girls on my last year made me feel really proud.

Womens Soccer Head Coach Dennis Kindel on Demmi Skierkas impact on the Blues program, Demmi was a player for younger players to look up to. She was committed, worked hard and her confidence is why younger players were drawn to her. She was a true leader on our team.

Thomas Arnott Mens Soccer (2011-2015)
I never planned of playing a sport in university, let alone soccer. Capilano allowed me to develop and discover my passion for soccer, sport and my teammates. I was born, raised, worked, played and lived on the North Shore my whole life. I was so lucky and so proud every time I pulled on that jersey with the Capilano logo on the front. I gave it everything I had every moment I was on the pitch for my teammates, coaches and most importantly, the school. Im honored to represent such a unique student body and tight knit community. I wish I could play at Capilano forever. Now that its over, I have a chance to look back and reflect on what being part of the team gave me. Pouring weeks and months of my life into the season taught me valuable lessons about hard work, perseverance and keeping a positive attitude. It was never easy, not always fun and often painful, but the rewards of seeing success on the field and with friends I made have always been worth it. Soccer has become my escape, where I can be myself; where no matter what is going on in my life I can find joy. I have Capilano University to thank for that. I hope both student-athletes and students realize what a special community they belong to and how proud each and every athlete is to represent them in competition; none, however, prouder than me.

Mens Soccer Head Coach Paul Dailly on Thomas Arnotts impact on the Blues program, It was great having Thomas over the last five years. He was a class act and led by example. He had the respect of his teammates and did whatever the team needed to be successful. I will be sorry to see him go but look forward to him hopefully joining me on the sidelines in a coaching role.

Mika Chow Womens Volleyball (2012-2016)
After being on the womens volleyball team at other institutions prior to coming to Capilano, my four years here have been my favorite by far. I have made friends that will last forever and really matured personally and athletically.

Womens Volleyball Head Coach Cal Wohlford on Mika Chows impact on the Blues program, Mika came to the Blues the same year that I got the coaching job and she has grown along with the program. She has always been a great leader for our team especially on the fitness side as well as her complete dedication to the program. Mika cares about the Blues program and has brought a ton of passion over her four years with us. We are going to miss her, but she has left a legacy with us and what it means to be a Blues player.

Michelle Errico Womens Basketball (2012-2016)
Playing at Capilano University allowed me to continue to play the sport I love and receive concurrently a quality education. Throughout my years of playing basketball at Capilano University I have developed many friendships and made many amazing memories. Every year of playing taught me important life skills that I will keep with me forever. I have had to face adversity in many different forms, which helped me become a leader, taught me how to be an effective communicator, taught me how to manage my time and helped to mature and confront problems positively. Every year had its trials and tribulations but the overall experience of playing was positive, one that I would never trade for anything and something I will cherish and miss forever. I would have to say that this last year meant the most to me, my younger sister joined the team and I was able to experience playing with her. We always played together in the driveway at home as kids but we have never had the opportunity to play on the same team. It was a lot of fun competing against other teams and for my family and friends watching both of us playing together. I feel as though it was a once in a lifetime experience because that isnt something everyone gets to experience and I know I will never forget it and all my Basketball and educational experiences at Capilano University.

Womens Basketball Head Coach Ramin Sadaghiani on Michelle Erricos impact on the Blues program, Michelle Errico leaves our women's program as the leading scorer in the history of our University and 5th all-time in the PACWEST. Her statistics speak for themselves however, her leadership qualities and dedication to our program is something that we cannot measure. She has truly set an impeccable example on and off the court for our young players and new recruits. We are so proud of her and wish her the best of luck.

Jennafer Palma Womens Basketball (2010-2016)
Playing basketball for all 5 eligible years at Capilano has meant a lot to me. I have been able to not only meet but become life-long friends with some incredible people. I have probably made 10x more meaningful connections being on a team, than I would have on my own in university. Over my 5 years I have also been able to pick up on a lot of skills, experience, and knowledge. And as time went on, I came to realize that it was my turn to pass it down. All those years gave me the confidence to embrace a significant part of my identity, which is to be a leader (or what my teammates like to call a wise grandma). I will admit, my leadership style has evolved over the years and it is something I can be very proud of. Being a part of a basketball team meant I got to be part of something bigger than myself. It allowed me the opportunity to appreciate sacrifice, hard work, and discipline. It allowed me to be a part of a respected culture and keep it alive. It allowed me to be a part of some of the most successful basketball teams at Capilano. It has allowed me to be a part of the Capilano basketball legacy. My basketball team has served as my safe haven when anything else in my life went bad. I was in depression for my first 2 years of university and the only thing that got me out of bed was basketball and my team. Practices in that gym was the only place I felt like myself again, the only place where I could find myself again. And as the years went on, that gym never failed to be my escape. This ties back to being a part of something bigger than myself, I knew once practices started, nothing else mattered but basketball.

Womens Basketball Head Coach Ramin Sadaghiani on Jennafer Palmas impact on the Blues program, Jennafer Palma will forever be a legend at Capilano University. Before her ACL injury she was arguably the most intimidating and feared on-ball defender in the PACWEST. However, I think her greatest achievement was post-injury where she showed incredible resilience and extraordinary leadership. Although her contribution was limited on the court due to her injury, she was the glue that kept our team together. Words cannot express the amount of gratitude we have for Jenn's commitment to our Athletics program. She will do great things down the road and I am excited to see what the next chapter has in store for her.

Submitted by: Capilano U Athletics & Recreation