A pair of Lunenburg County soccer players - Callum Corkum, of Camperdown and Noah van Kessel, of Hebbville - are taking their skills on the pitch to the Saint Mary's University (SMU) Huskies as they join the varsity team for the upcoming season.
Both secured scholarships and look forward to the new competitive challenge as they hit the books for their respective degrees.
"I really want to learn from the all the guys ... and hopefully I get to play a little bit," Callum, 18, told LighthouseNOW during a recent phone call. He's excited about having " that experience of playing on a university team."
"It's something I've always wanted to do."
Noah is equally thrilled. "I just want to play, really," the 17-year-old explained to LighthouseNOW during a phone chat. "No expectations, really ... just [want to] get out there and have fun and compete."
Callum and Noah are Grade 12 students at Bridgewater's Park View Education Centre. Not only have they been teammates on squads in years-gone-by, but they are friends off-the-field.
"It's pretty cool," Callum said of reuniting in Huskies colours with a long-time friend. "We've been friends since we were, like, eight." Playing varsity soccer, he noted, "is something we've both really wanted to do."
Their parents are also pleased to see their boys elevate their games in conjunction with four years of higher learning.
Jody and Lindsay van Kessel are Noah's parents. Callum's mother and father are Liz and Ian Corkum.
"They're really happy for me; excited to see me play," Noah said.
Callum also acknowledged the backing of his family. "They're happy for me because they know it's something I've always wanted," he said. "I'm just glad they've always supported me throughout it."
Noah is seeking a Bachelor of Science degree in hopes of a career somewhere in the forensics specialty. Callum plans to study biology with the intent of potentially teaching science.
Both cite previous connections with SMU men's soccer coach Mesut Mert, who has led the team since 2014, and played a role to helping secure roster spots. Callum's abilities as a defender resonated, as did Noah's versatility of being able to play multiple positions.
"It's a really good environment and good team, and people really want to be there," Callum said of the SMU team.
The most recently available roster on the Huskies website shows another Lunenburg County resident has made a name for himself in university sports. Bridgewater's Cameron Zinn, who played on Nova Scotia's 2017 Canada Games team, is a SMU defender.