Eagles Steenhof Flying on the Field

Eagles Steenhof Flying on the Field

by ACAC Sports Writer Curtis J. Phillips

With four games remaining in the 2017 Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) men's soccer regular season, The Kings Eagles total seven points with a record of two wins, three losses.

They have scored 11 goals while allowing 11 goals.

In this, their 16th year of lacing up the cleats in ACAC men's soccer, the seven total points earned so far, is their second best ever at this point of the season.

Only twice have they had more than two notches in the win column, with three in 2006 and five in 2015.

Players remaining from the 2015 squad are Patrick Barayuga, Kenan Helgren, Wesley McNutt, Jorge de Paz, Aaron Steenhof, Daniel Van Heyst, Gregory Vander Vinne and Volkan Yasa.

Leading the Kings' attack are Steenhof with four goals while de Pas and Barayuga have chipped in with three and two markers respectively.

For Steenhof, it is a breakout season…having paid his dues the first two years at the Edmonton-based school.

"The difference now is that I am getting more playing time and it has been my teammates trying to find me in the right place at the right time," said  Steenhof, 20, of the fact in two previous ACAC campaigns and 17 regular season games, he had recorded no goals.

"I had to have patience and work hard in practice to earn my spot. Working hard in practices and translating that to games."

Steenhof, a third-year student athlete enrolled in Business, comes from a sporting family.

His older sister Natasha Steenhof, 22, is a centreback for the Eagles women's soccer side, starting all six games.

His older brother Justin Steenhof, 24, suited up for the Briercrest Clippers men's basketball and hockey teams.

Also on the family tree, branching out, is former Kings' men's volleyball player David Bakker, who is married to Natasha..

It doesn't stop there.

Aaron's father Chris Steenhof was not only his principal at Bulkley Valley Christian High School in Smithers, British Columbia but also his basketball and soccer coach.

"It was different," recalls Aaron, a multi-sport athlete having stared in basketball, hockey, volleyball and soccer during his high school days at Bulkley Valley Christian. "You still had to learn but you could not talk back as he was your dad. It was easy to talk with him about the team though and it was nice to have that connection with him."

Aaron's mother Helga, also played an integral role in this sporting family: "She is quite a good cook and well-known around town for her cooking. Sometimes she would come to practices or games, sometimes feeding the entire team."

 Aaron added that, "My best sport and favourite sport growing up was hockey.  But now it is definitely soccer."

Of having his older sister Natasha also attending Kings University: "It's good. We don't like to get into critiquing each other's games but instead we look to congratulate each other and focus on the positives."

Of attending Kings University: "I love the atmosphere. It is a small school where everybody knows you and knows your name. The professors care about you and the same with the coaches. You are a friend to them…not just another body."