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Whitecaps Academy in Squamish hands out awards

White-Bothe, Feuz win top honours for top girl, boy
Whitecaps awards
Alex Feuz and Mary-Beth White-Bothe hold their awards for top players at the Whitecaps Academy.

A little more than a year after setting up in Squamish, the Vancouver Whitecaps Academy handed out some hardware for its top players Friday night.

Alex Feuz was picked as the top boy, while Mary-Beth White-Bothe won the award for top girl at the academy.

The Sea to Sky Academy’s head coach Graham Murphy presented the awards, along with other coaching staff, and he praised the two players for their progress.

“We’ve seen improvement in every session,” he said.

Feuz, who started soccer around age five, plays at the U14 silver level as a midfielder and has noticed his progress since he started with the academy.

“I was the player of the month one time last year,” he said.

As a midfield player, he thinks of himself as a passer first, but he has also been able to find the back of the net on occasion.

“I scored a few goals, which I don’t think I could’ve done before,” he said.

Through the help of Murphy and the Whitecaps’ coaches, he has also learned the importance of working hard and not giving up on a play.

White-Bothe, who started around six years ago and is playing for the West Van Metro U15 team this year, said the academy has helped her learn what to do when she does not have the ball.

“I learned a lot of defensive skills here,” she said.

Still, as an attacking player, she has also seen the effect on her offensive skills too.

Off the pitch, White-Bothe has been developing leadership skills by helping out with the academy, setting up the field for sessions or coaching the younger kids.

“It’s been a really good experience,” she said.

Feuz’s father credits the academy for helping his son’s development over the past year.

“The coaches are amazing,” said Tony Feuz. “He’s really improving a lot.”

Similarly, White-Bothe’s mother points to the role the academy has played in helping her daughter.

“It’s really good, small-group training. They’ve taken her to kind of the next level level. They want her to go far,” Meaghan White said.

The Vancouver Whitecaps opened the academy in Squamish during the summer of 2015. Murphy said typically the Friday sessions attract 100 to 120 kids from throughout the Sea to Sky region.

“It’s nice that it’s here,” said White-Bothe’s father Brent Bothe. “They make the trek up here for us.”

The Sea to Sky Academy offers sessions for youth soccer players from Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton and the Lil’wat First Nation. Murphy said the academy’s emphasis is to leave tactics to team coaches and focus on player habits.

“Our motto is we make the player the better,” he said. “The one thing we try to emphasize is work hard and have fun.”

The academy represents just part of the relationship between the MLS club and Squamish Youth Soccer, as the Whitecaps chose Squamish as the site for a league mini-pitch program to help kids train. The mini-pitch was unveiled in October.

The club also operates academies for kids in Vancouver, Vancouver Island, the Okanagan, Kamloops, the Kootenays, northern B.C., as well as across the country. For more information, look under “youth” at or email


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