The Medicine Hat College soccer team said they are excited to have two more Terrace players on their Rattler team this fall.
Austin Price played in the Terrace Youth Soccer Association for six years, moved with his family to Medicine Hat in 2014, and played with the Rattlers last fall. He invited his previous TYSA teammates Gage Kluss and Clark Matthews to try out for the team, and the two earned a spot on the Rattlers for the 2016-2017 season.
“Their addition to the Rattlers squad will certainly increase the competition for several key positions,” said Rattlers head coach Jim Loughlin.
“All three players (Price, Kluss and Matthews) are extremely athletic, have a good understanding of the game and are sound technically,” he said. “The three of them, most definitely, have received quality coaching and are a credit to the Terrace sporting community.”
Laughlin added that if the college soccer program “knew the quality of soccer players from Terrace B.C., many more recruiting dollars would have been spent on recruiting road trips.”
Both Kluss and Matthews said soccer has been big in their families and they have played since they were young. Kluss said soccer naturally became a part of his life because his dad and coach Blaine Kluss always played.
“I just adapted to loving it,” Gage Kluss said, adding that he has been part of TYSA since he was five-years-old.
“It’s definitely fun growing up and playing with a team your entire lives, because they are your friends and everything is more fun when you have a friend doing it with you,” he said.
Matthews joined TYSA in Grade 8, but played in Kitwanga before that and grew up with the sport.
“Growing up as a kid, I always used to go to the field and watch my dad and my brother play,” Matthews said. “I have grown to love it… I really like the competitiveness.”
Matthews’ love for the competition gives him an intensity to fight for the ball which his TYSA coach says is his single greatest strength as a player.
“Clark battles. He is a real strong guy on the ball,” said Blaine. “He is one of those guys, that if two guys go in for a ball, he comes out ahead more often then not. He battles hard every second.”
For Gage, his strength is his ability to read the field and make strategic and accurate passes.
“Gage is all about the mental game. He is very strategic. His ability to place deadfalls or corner kicks, are second to none in this area,” said Blaine. “He practices at it, he works at it, he is very very good at it.”
He also has strong leadership abilities and communicates well with his team, Blaine said, adding that he is one of the TYSA team captains.
Kluss and Matthews will play their final season with TYSA this summer and will head to Medicine Hat College in the fall.
Gage is studying kinesiology with the goal of becoming a teacher in physical education, and Matthews is still undecided.
Both players said they are most excited to play soccer and step into a more competitive level of play.
“I always wanted to play soccer after I graduated,” said Kluss. “This opportunity came up and I couldn’t really turn it down because it sounds pretty amazing to play college soccer.”
“It’s good to know I can keep playing after school,” he said. “I love playing soccer and I want to keep playing for the rest of my life.”