Marcus Walker looks foward to playing his first game with the VIU Mariners men’s soccer team. (Submitted photo)

Marcus Walker looks foward to playing his first game with the VIU Mariners men’s soccer team. (Submitted photo)

Qualicum Beach soccer standout will have to wait to make PacWest debut

Walker eager to play first game with VIU Mariners

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused huge disappointment to many freshmen athletes eager to play their first season at the university level.

Among them is former Kwalikum Kondors soccer player Marcus Walker, who committed to the Vancouver Island University Mariners men’s team.

The 18-year-old from Qualicum Beach said he was looking forward to making his debut in the Pacific Western Athletic Association but COVID-19 has kept the league from taking place.

“I am so disappointed,” said Walker. “It’s no one’s fault because no one can control it. It sucks but it will have to be next year I guess, when things are back to normal.”

Walker was a top player for the Kondors. He plays midfield, a position where he adeptly gauges offensive opportunities and covers defensive lapses. VIU head coach Larry Stefanek recruited Walker.

“Marcus is a talented player who I knew through our Upper Island Storm program and as a player at Kwalikum Secondary,” said Stefanek.

“I recruited Marcus to VIU due to his excellent technical skills and his ability to play in multiple positions such as central midfield, right or left wing or up front as a striker. He is a natural left-footed player who has good vision, is comfortable on the ball and is very coachable.”

Walker did get an offer to play for a college in Grand Prairie but chose VIU because he likes the school’s program as well as already being familiar with the coach.

Soccer has always been Walker’s favourite sport since he started at age four. The only other sport he engaged in was in taekwondo at the former Parksville Taekwondo Club, where he earned his black belt.

READ MORE: Parksville soccer coach Stefanek earns special national certification

“I have been playing soccer for 13, 14 years now,” said Walker. “I just loved being in a team and enjoyed it. I started to get serious about it and thought I maybe could advance and play at a higher level, like university level or something. And now that I made it at VIU, I still have to wait to play my first game with the team.”

For now, Walker keeps himself in shape with the Nanaimo U21 in the Vancouver Island Soccer League. He trains twice with the club and plays once a week.

“It’s nice that I am playing right now,” said Walker. “We have a good team and it looks like it’s going to be a good season.”

Walker is taking a Bachelor of Science course majoring in global studies. Due to COVID-19, Walker said he’s doing most of his courses online at home.

“It’s really weird that in my first year of university I am doing all my studying at home,” said Walker. “It’s nice to be in university but I have yet to experience what it would be like being in campus. It’s kind of strange.”

Stefanek has indicated that the PacWest is still working to get the schools playing in the spring semester from January to March. It’s still uncertain at this time but Stefanek and Walker are keeping their fingers crossed.

“Although it is always difficult for first year players, we do expect Marcus to be involved and play some minutes before long with our team,” said Stefanek. “Given the implications of COVID we will see how things go as our season is cancelled but we are looking forward to seeing Marcus in action before long.”

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

qualicum beachsoccerVIU

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(PQB News file photo)
Qualicum Beach voters head back to the polls on May 15

Byelection will be held to replace former councillor (now MLA) Adam Walker

Ecko Aleck, recipient of $5,000 award for Indigenous entrepreneurs presented by Young Entrepreneurs Symposium. (photo courtesy of Adam Ziorio Photography)
Qualicum Beach woman one of 20 winners in nationwide challenge for Indigenous entrepreneurs

Ecko Aleck plans to create youth council with paid consultation

The Town of Qualicum Beach East Village Revitalization project has received a grant from the B.C. government. (Town of Qualicum Beach illustration )
Parksville Qualicum Beach projects receive more than $1M in provincial funds

Chamber of Commerce plans to establish micro-fullfilment centre to aid area businesses

(PQB News file photo)
Qualicum Beach offers to establish temporary cold-weather shelter

Move would provide aid to a maximum of 15 individuals

(PQB News file photo)
Parksville city council approves spending $235,000 for ERWS water treatment plant

$87K expected as reimbursement via ERWS Joint Ventures Agreement

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

“Support your city” reads a piece of graffiti outside the Ministry of Finance office. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Slew of anti-bylaw graffiti ‘unacceptable’ says Victoria mayor, police

Downtown businesses, bylaw office and Ministry of Finance vandalized Wednesday morning

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

Most Read