Late Start Doesn't Slow New Women's Soccer Recruit
Tai Linklater is a fast learner. That is certainly the case when it comes to her development on the soccer field. The soon-to-be W.C. Miller graduate only started playing the 11 a-side game in Grade 11 and despite the short length of season for rural high school athletes, the defender helped her team to a fourth place finish in the 2019 Provincials and scored recognition as a Provincial All-star.
"CMU is getting the full package with Tai," said Tim Brock who has coached Linklater in various sports during her years at her Altona high school. "She is an exceptional teammate that goes out of her way to make everyone feel part of the team, a hard-working athlete who does everything a coach asks for and more. She has a great attitude that is extremely contagious with her teammates. She is the perfect player to bring into your program and will immediately want to make a difference."
Like many rural athletes, Linklater has developed her athleticism on various sporting platforms. She represented her high school in volleyball, basketball, badminton and fastball and received the W.C. Miller Citizenship Award in Grade 9, 10 and 11 and finds time to volunteer on her student council. Raised in the baseball hot bed of Altona, Linklater has played 3 seasons of A-ball level softball with Central Energy where she primarily serves as her teams catcher.
"Tai is a tough, solid defender who runs like she will never get tired," added Rodrigo Bravo who coached Linklater's high school soccer team. "You can't teach heart and Tai has got that! She is a great teammate and leader, always encouraging her teammates."
On top of her busy athletics and leadership schedule, Linklater has still made time to volunteer regularly as a coach with Special Olympics in Altona and stays on top of her studies as an honour roll student.
"We are really excited to be adding Tai to our program next season," said CMU co-head coach Lianna Bestvater. "We are working to get our program back to the level that we were at in 2018 when we won the MCAC Championship and we know that athletes like Tai will help get us there."
As the Blazers gear-up for the 2021-22 season, when the program will have it's first full season as full members in the CCAA, the upcoming preseason will see CMU travel to Hamilton, Ontario for non-conference matches against the Mohawk Mountaineers and Redeemer Royals of the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) from September 3-5 before embarking on their 2020 MCAC regular season.