Award-winning season for Nelson's Mitchell Popadynetz
This has been a historical season for the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men’s soccer program and for Nelson Minor Soccer grad 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.
As well Popadynetz, who played for Nelson Youth Soccer before going on to refine his skills on the Lower Mainland, earned player of the year and first team Canada West all-star honours.
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 during the fall.
“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.