We­ber State Wild­cats come call­ing for Wilms

Southwest Booster - - SPORTS - > StevenMah

Swift Cur­rent’s Bri­ana Wilms will be tak­ing her game south of the bor­der next sea­son af­ter re­ceiv­ing a full volleyball schol­ar­ship at We­ber State Uni­ver­sity in Og­den, Utah.

TheWe­ber StateWild­cats are a NCAA Divi­sion I school and com­pete in the nine-team Big Sky Con­fer­ence.

Wilms, a 6’2 four-year mem­ber of the Swift Cur­rent Com­pre­hen­sive High School Se­nior Ar­dens volleyball team, was iden­ti­fied at a prospects camp in Assini­boia last Fe­bru­ary af­ter which she got a call-back in­vi­ta­tion for a fol­low up camp in June.

The camp was at­tended by ap­prox­i­mately 50 post secondary in­sti­tu­tions of vary­ing lev­els from the United States and Canada and even­tu­ally Wilms re­ceived a num­ber of let­ters and in­for­ma­tion pack­ages from in­ter­ested schools.

Af­ter care­ful con­sid­er­a­tionWilms nar­rowed the list down and vis­ited a pair of them with her par­ents over the sum­mer.

“I had picked three top schools that I was go­ing to re­search com­pletely,” said Wilms. “Mis­soula Mon­tana, was one of them, We­ber State was an­other, and El Paso wasmy third school. So I went down to the ones that were close enough to drive to in the sum­mer and checked them out. El Paso I de­cided not to go be­cause it was too far away.”

Even­tu­ally Wilms set­tled on We­ber State which is ‘only’ a 16 hour drive from Swift Cur­rent.

“There are three girls from Saskatchewan on this team and the coach was a good suit for me,” she ex­plained.

This past sea­son the Wild­cats fin­ished fifth in the Big Sky Con­fer­ence reg­u­lar sea­son with a 9-7 record and fin­ished 21-13 over­all. Wilms ad­mit­ted that she has been keep­ing tabs on her fu­ture team for a while now.

“I have been watch­ing them dur­ing the sea­son and they have been do­ing well. They are los­ing a big mid­dle po­si­tion player, Brit­tney Bi­sail­lon, she is a phe­nom­e­nal volleyball player and there are go­ing to be big shoes to fill there be­cause I am go­ing down there as a mid­dle as well. Other than that they have a great group of girls and a great coach.”

Wilms has also been a stand­out bas­ket­ball player for the Ar­dens and played a piv­otal role in three straight 4A Hoopla medals in­clud­ing pro­vin­cial cham­pi­onships in 2007 and this past March. She sounds con­fi­dent though that volleyball is the right choice for her.

“I have en­joyed my­self in bas­ket­ball so much es­pe­cially with two wins at Hoopla and a bronze medal. Our bas­ket­ball teams have been so close and have had such awe­some friend­ships on the team. So it has been a lot of fun play­ing bas­ket­ball and I am def­i­nitely go­ing to miss it. Volleyball was just cho­sen be­cause there was a lot more op­por­tu­nity for me in volleyball with this camp and the coaches kind of came to me so I didn’t have to do a lot of the work whereas bas­ket­ball would have been a lot tougher to get a de­cent schol­ar­ship.”

Wilms, who has played for the pro­vin­cial volleyball team for the past two sea­sons, will have some time to ad­just to many changes in her life as she will likely red­shirt for the Wild­cats next sea­son.

“As far as I know the coach and I have dis­cussed that I am go­ing to red shirt next year and then have the next four years for play­ing. For me I think that is awe­some be­cause it is go­ing to be a big tran­si­tion, I am go­ing to miss my fam­ily un­be­liev­ably so it is go­ing to be tough enough as it is. And to get into uni­ver­sity classes is go­ing to be a big change. So the red shirt­ing thing for me is go­ing to be awe­some. I think I have got a long ways to go yet in volleyball, so to be able to prac­tice with the girls and get used to it is go­ing to be good enough for me for the first year and then hope­fully catch on af­ter that.”

Aca­dem­i­cally Wilms hopes to study busi­ness, ma­jor­ing in fi­nance or ac­count­ing, but for the first cou­ple of years will be in gen­eral stud­ies as man­dated by the uni­ver­sity.

She will also be liv­ing in the stu­dent res­i­dence build­ing for her first two years, the build­ings were ac­tu­ally built for the Salt Lake City Olympics and were used as the Ath­letes Vil­lages for the skiers.

For fun – well she points out that, “Las Ve­gas is only seven hours laugh.

Wilms and the Ar­dens qual­i­fied for provin­cials only once in her four years, dur­ing her grade nine sea­son. De­spite the lack of pos­i­tive re­sults she said she en­joyed her time in the pro­gram.

“We had great coaches, maybe com­mit­ments, or I don’t know what it was that we didn’t make it but that is fine we still learned the skills we needed to and we had fun play­ing.”

Wilms grate­fully ac­knowl­edged a few coaches who helped her out along the way in­clud­ing Ken Yee, Scott May­all, her coach at FairviewMid­dle School, and Ar­dens’ coaches Bren­tMil­lar and Heather Striker.

Wilms will be down in Og­den to be­gin train­ing in the first week of Au­gust with school start­ing later that month.

“It is scary know­ing that I am go­ing to be as far away from home as I am. But it is nice to know that we play at two dif­fer­ent uni­ver­si­ties in Mon­tana so it is an eas­ier drive and a lit­tle closer for Mom and Dad to come and see me. I am def­i­nitely go­ing to miss my older sis­ters a lot be­cause we have a very close fam­ily. It is go­ing to be tough mov­ing away from home but I think that with those girls from Saskatchewan it will be a bit eas­ier con­nec­tion with home and be able to talk about it.”

Wilms will cer­tainly be leav­ing some of Saskatchewan’s cool fall volleyball weather be­hind her, one of the Wild­cats first tour­na­ments will be played in Honolulu, Hawaii in early Septem­ber.

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