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NYS grad selected Canada West Player of the Year

Mitchell Popadynetz also earns Canada West first-team all-star selection. — Submitted photo

This has been a historical season for the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men’s soccer program and for Mitchell Popadynetz.

The team continues to blaze ‘uncharted’ territory as it secured its first Canada West playoff spot, won its first Canada West post season match and now has been rewarded with its first Canada West player of the year and having the most players ever named to the league all-star teams.

The player of the year is Popadynetz and first team Canada West all-star is Popadynetz.

The Nelson, BC native (4th year, midfielder) led the team offensively with seven goals and 10 assists with 17 points.   He was tied for first in the Canada West in total points and led the league in assists.

“The award is very well deserved for Mitch,” said WolfPack head coach John Antulov.

“Not only this season but over the last three years. We knew we were getting a special player when came to us from UBC. We knew what he could bring to the program. It is finally all coming together for him. He is not only an offensive guy. He has taken to everything we talked about on the defensive side of the ball and has become an excellent all-around player.  For us, to have him hitting his stride this year was huge.  We have surrounded him with good players so that has added to his skill set and what he can bring to the team. Overall, it has been a fantastic thing for our program. Great leader, great person and I am very happy for him.”

Popadynetz becomes the second WolfPack athlete ever to be named a Canada West athlete of the year. Volleyball player Iuliia Pakhomenko (Donetsk, Ukraine) was named the Canada West women’s volleyball player of the year in 2015-16.

Four of Popadynetz’s teammates were also honored.

Ryan Glanville (5th year, midfield, Williams Lake, BC) was named to the Canada West all-star squad for the third straight year.  Glanville is on the 2017 second team along with defender Finley McPhie (4th year, Vernon, BC).

The five will be in action this weekend as TRU plays in the Canada West final four beginning Friday (Nov 3) in Vancouver, BC.  The ‘Pack meet up with the host UBC Thunderbirds.

They will also showcase their talents at the 2017 USPORTS men’s soccer nationals which open up November 9th at Hillside Stadium.