The Selkirk College Saints hockey program has been the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) gold standard over the last three seasons, but the team’s dominance doesn’t end on the ice.
As the 2015-2016 BCIHL regular season gets started, the league released its Academic Excellence Award winners. The awards are presented to student athletes enrolled full time and who achieve a minimum 80 per cent average during the course of the academic year. In the 2014-2015 season, the Saints had a league leading ten players make the cut.
Defenceman Arie Postmus is one of ten Selkirk College Saints players from the 2014-2015 edition of the team that have been honoured with BCIHL Academic Excellence Awards. Postmus and the Saints are gunning for a fourth straight BCIHL championship this season.
“This is a significant accomplishment for our players and our program,” says Saints head coach Brent Heaven. “School is the number-one reason why this program exists and we try to ensure that all players are able to find success in the classroom.”
The student athletes who made the list include Tylor Branzsen, Stephen Glass, Stephen Pantazopoulos, Arie Postmus, Mitch Rosko, Stefan Gonzales, Darnell Dyck, Ryan Procyshyn, Logan Proulx and Mason Spear. Simon Fraser University had the second most award winners with nine, followed by Eastern Washington University (7), University of Victoria (4) and Trinity Western University (3). Two of the athletes receiving the award for the University of Victoria include Nelson Minor Hockey Association graduates Linden Horswill and Carsen Willans.
“It shows that the hard work we put into school work and playing hockey can pay off,” says Postmus. “It can be tough finding that balance, but you have to find the time to put hockey aside and really focus on your school work. It’s nice to be recognized for that.”
A Great Option for Pursuing Hockey Career
Postmus grew up in Fruitvale, graduated high school from Trail’s J.L Crowe Secondary and played junior hockey for the Kootenay International Hockey League’s (KIJHL) Beaver Valley Nitehawks. He played three full seasons for the Nitehawks and helped contribute towards a league championship in 2011-2012 on a team that included current Saints forwards Ryan Edwards and Dallas Calvin.
Postmus chose Selkirk College because he wanted to stay close to home and enrolled in the Business Administration Program. Though he was a good student in high school, Postmus says his first semester at Selkirk College was more challenging than expected. Through team study sessions and an additional focus on academics, the 23-year-old was able to hit his stride in his second full year at college.
Second-year Saints defenceman Mitch Rosko is one of five current Selkirk College players that achieved academic excellence last season. The others include Tylor Branzsen, Stephen Glass, Stephen Pantazopoulos and Arie Postmus.
“There is a lot of support at Selkirk College,” Postmus says. “You have extra time to see a teacher after class or get some additional help with tutors if you need it. The Business Administration Program is a tough program, but if you put that extra time in then you can be successful.”
On the ice, Postmus is a key member of the Saints blueline unit that will be vital in the team’s pursuit of a fourth straight BCIHL championship.
“When I made the decision to come to Selkirk College, I would have never thought that we would have won two championships and now be going for a third,” he says. “Just as important, I became a better student once I came to college. I did fine in high school, but when I got here I realized I had to step up my studies. It’s paid off so far.”
The Selkirk College Saints have opened the regular season with a 2-2 record. They return home to the Castlegar & District Recreation Centre on Saturday, October 24 for a game against Eastern Washington University. The puck drops at 7 p.m.