The laidback Island lifestyle suits Josh Lamothe and Will Adams, which is why the soon-to-be Reynolds secondary grads are excited to be staying home next year.
Lamothe, a centre back, and Adams, a midfielder with plenty of scoring potential, played a major part of the historic men’s soccer season for Reynolds this year as they won the AAA provincials and made the Vancouver Island Soccer League’s Jackson Cup semifinals with their Island Wave (mostly under-18) team. The latter was no small feat, playing Div. 1 against the region’s top men this season.
And now the two, who started locally (Lamothe with Gordon Head Soccer and Adams with Bays United and then Prospect Lake) and have been part of the Island Wave program for years, will move up together to the UVic Vikes for the 2017-18 season. They are joined by another player from the Island Wave, Rhys Foster out of Nanaimo’s Dover Bay secondary, and Canadian Mark Kaiser, a Hong Kong resident.
Ironically, it was the relaxed recruiting approach of longtime Vikes head coach Bruce Wilson that had the newest pair of Vikes a little stressed out to start their school season (though it’s ended about as well as possible).
“Josh and Will have had exceptional years with Reynolds… It is quite remarkable,” Wilson said. “We are very happy to have all three join the Vikes next year.”
“I was in contact with other universities since early Grade 11,” said Lamothe, who came close to playing NCAA Div. 1 with the Washington Huskies. “I didn’t talk to [Wilson] about it until Grade 12 but it was always the Vikes I wanted to play for. I’m anxious to get started.”
The reality is Adams, the VISL Div. 1 Rookie of the Year and Lamothe, who was named the MVP of the AAA boys B.C. High School Soccer Championship, already knew they would be Vikes back in the fall, though the Vikes only announced it this week. The commitment of Lamothe and Adams comes with another player from their Island Wave squad, Rhys Foster out of Nanaimo’s Dover Bay secondary, and Canadian Mark Kaiser, a Hong Kong resident.
It’s the same for Adams, who, like Lamothe, chose the Vikes over multiple suitors in the U Sports Canada West conference.
“I know a couple of players who enjoy being Vikes, they enjoy the daily environment, I’m looking forward to it,” Adams said.
The dynamic duo helped Reynolds to ultimate soccer supremacy in 2016 when the city’s Colonist Cup final became a champion’s cup (of all Saanich teams, it should be mentioned) pitting Reynolds against the AA provincial champion St. Michaels University School Blue Jags. Reynolds won 4-2, with Adams setting up Sylvain Taghaoussi for the winner at five minutes left in the match.
Two months ago the Island Wave, let by veteran Scottish pro Blair Sturrock, cracked the final four but fell 3-1 in the Jackson Cup semifinals to eventual champions Nanaimo Utd.
“Adams is a late bloomer that’s come leaps and bounds,” Sturrock said. “He did quite well as a striker, and as a midfielder he’s got that engine, that technical ability and the grit that helped him win the rookie of the year as one of the better players in the league.
“[Lamothe] has great pace, he’s tidy, he covered centre back well in Div. 1 at a high standard, against ex- university players, he can transform into a player who can do some harm in the university level,” Sturrock added.
The two aren’t the only Wave players going to university, as midfielder Sam Fletcher and goalkeeper Mitch Whittla are now rivals headed to the UBC Thunderbirds.
The Vikes men’s soccer team begin their Canada West campaign on the road, Sept. 8, against Fraser Valley, while training camps start the first week of August.