ATHABASCA – The name Elgert is synonymous with sports not only Athabasca, but across the province.Over the years Max, Sam and Abby Elgert have become known for their exceptional athleticism and sometimes alongside their parents Colleen and Greg, who occasionally were official coaches.
Max is 21 and in his fourth year of electrical engineering at the University of Alberta where he is a setter on the Golden Bears Men's Volleyball team and Sam, 19, is taking computer software engineering at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops where he is also a setter for the Wolfpack.
Now Abby, 17, is set to join her brothers in playing collegiate level sports after being signed to Ball State University Cardinals Women’s Soccer team in Muncie, Indiana playing defence.
Abby must still graduate Edwin Parr Composite in the spring of 2020, but was officially signed by Ball State and will be moving to Indiana in the summer.
“I would say that there was a lot of positives that made me want to choose that school because their soccer program is really good,” Abby said. “I went to visit there, and I had like a really good connection with the coaches and the girls that I met that were on the team.”
Abby has been playing soccer since she was five years old and has advanced through the ranks to start playing competitively at age 12, first in Athabasca and then for the St. Albert Impact sometimes traveling five days a week to play.
She plans on taking pre-med while playing for the soccer team that is ranked 75 out of 334 women’s college soccer programs in NCAA Division I.
“I had a couple universities I was looking at in Canada, but it was a decision on whether I wanted to play in the States or if I wanted to play in Canada,” Abby explained. “And so, I think it just came up to that I wanted to have this experience of going and playing in NCAA and trying something new.”
Abby says she does not have a lot of time to follow professional sports but does cite Canadian soccer player and captain of the Canadian national team, Christine Sinclair, as one player she follows. Sinclair has the same driven attitude about soccer, and it has gained her two Olympic bronze medals and being named Canada Soccer Player of the Year 14 times.
“I like the team aspect for sure and I think I think it's suited me well as an athlete. I did have to work on my skills, but that came pretty quick too,” Abby stated. “It's a fast game and it's also thinking game. It's kind of like one of my coaches like to say that it's like chess; you have to think through the game.”
Abby is looking forward to the coming year and moving to Indiana saying she knows her parents will take every opportunity to come visit.
“I'm not seem nervous because I feel very comfortable with the coaches and the players. They're all super, super nice so I'm not nervous about that,” Abby said. “I'm also super excited to be competing at such a high level.”
Greg is certianly proud of his his children’s accomplishments, but as always, remained humble.
“They're good kids certainly, but I think every parents' kids are usually pretty amazing too.”