Squamish's Rryla McIntosh is going straight from the valedictorian stage to the soccer pitch.
And she'll also make an appearance on the hardwood.
McIntosh, a 2013 Howe Sound Secondary School grad, will become the first local to suit up for both the Quest University Kermodes women's soccer and basketball teams in one athletic year.
“It's kind of a cool thing,” McIntosh told The Chief. “It's been awesome practicing with the soccer team so far. There's a lot of really good players on the team and the coaches just have so much knowledge.”
McIntosh first hit the field at Brennan Park at the age of seven and began to focus on the sport at the age of 10 after being asked to try out for and then making the cut for a local travel soccer team. She moved on to a team in West Vancouver last year and then the opportunity to join the Kermodes came up.
“At first I totally wanted to get out of Squamish after graduation,” she said, laughing. “But I decided to apply to Quest and see what happened. I went to one of their preview days and thought, 'Oh my god, this sounds like such a great school.' I was kind of hooked from that.”
Quest expressed interest in adding McIntosh to the fold and she was excited to find out that the basketball team was also interested in her. She played several years for the Sounders and said it should be fun to join the Kermodes.
“For the longest time, my goal was to play university or college soccer, so when I was approached for basketball, it was really an extra bonus,” she said.
She pointed out that she will be red-shirting her first season and is looking forward to working with head coach Dany Charlery.
Education was another key factor in McIntosh committing to Quest. She said she was eager to hit the books as well as the sports field.
“I'm really looking forward to classes starting,” she said. “There's so many interesting courses — I don't know how I'm going to choose.”
She admitted it will be an adjustment to get used to the intense school workload along with her athletic commitments.
“It'll be a challenge at first to handle everything, but once I get a routine and schedule going, it won't be too bad,” she said.
McIntosh is living on campus but said she'll still be making visits home.
“My mom says I have to come home every Sunday for dinner,” she said, laughing.
For more information on the women's soccer team, visit www.questkermodes.ca.