National Signing Day for NCAA schools proved to be a big one for a trio of Richmond soccer standouts.
Dakota Chan, Ebony Clarke and Jalen Donaldson all inked scholarship deals on Wednesday to continue their careers south of the border next fall.
Chan is headed to the University of Nebraska where the talented midfielder won’t have to look far to find a familiar face.
Richmond High graduate and forward Natalie Cook completed her freshman season with the Cornhuskers last fall. Both girls are products of the Total Soccer Systems’ (TSS) Elite Girls program under coach Brandon Quarry.
Chan is a standout multi-sport athlete who was named an all-star while playing for Team B.C. at last summer’s U18 Field Hockey Nationals. Currently, she is a key starter for the McMath Wildcats basketball team that is trying to advance to the provincial tournament for the fourth consecutive year. The honour roll student’s busy schedule will settle down to one sport at the Big 10 Conference school.
“Nebraska has everything I am looking for in a university, including excellent academics, world-class facilities, top-notch coaching and an inspiring atmosphere. When I visited the campus, I immediately knew Nebraska was the place for me,” said Chan.
“The coaches made me feel like Nebraska was a place with endless opportunities where I can achieve my academic and athletic goals while contributing to the success of an outstanding team. The Nebraska soccer program is one that genuinely cares for its players both on and off the field.”
Clarke is off to Pullman where she will be playing for the Pac 12’s Washington State Cougars.
The Palmer Secondary student is from a family rich in soccer talent.
Her brother Caleb came through the Vancouver Whitecaps organization while sister Summer enjoyed a standout collegiate career at Louisiana State University. Ebony will be suiting up in the Cougars’ midfield and is part of an impressive recruiting class.
"We have been waiting a long time and I am super excited to announce this 2018 class," said WSU coach Todd Shulenberger. “This year's class is based in Colorado, Washington, California and Vancouver. This group of young ladies had a ton of high level success in the club scene and some with national team programs.”
Clarke made her debut with the Jamaica national program at CONCACAF Under-17 World Cup qualifiers in Grenada, where they faced the United States, Costa Rica and Mexico. She scored against Costa Rica. The midfieldermoved up to the U20 Jamaican team and played in last month’s CONCACAF Championships.”
At the club level, Clarke is playing for Surrey United of the B.C. Premier Soccer League.
Her BCPSL teammate is headed to Natchitoches, Louisiana where Donaldson is part of a 10-player recruiting class at Northwestern State University.
Last August, the standout striker suited up for Team B.C. at the Canada Summer Games. Like Chan, she is also a member of the Wildcats senior girls basketball team.
“Donaldson is coming a long way, but we've got some Canadians where she should feel at home," said Lady Demons co-coach Jess Jobe said. "She's been very mature and responsible, and we expect that on the field as well.”
The Northwestern State roster also features Ontario’s Kayla Bomben and Halifax native April Trowbridge.