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Class of ’17 looks to follow the lead of past Louis-Riel grads

Arielle Kabangu.

–By Ottawa Sportspage, for Louis-Riel Rebelles

The 2016-2017 school year is in the books, and with it comes another great generation of student-athletes completing their time with Louis-Riel high school’s sports-études program.

“It’s always a bit sad to say goodbye to each graduating class since we will no longer see them on a day-to-day basis, but our staff is always really happy that whenever they’re home, they come and visit, or even train with us at the Dome,” says sports-études director Ken Levesque. “We have saying, ‘Once a Rebelle, Always a Rebelle,’ and the fact that our grads come back shows the pride they take in being a Rebelle, for life.”

As the class of ’17 moves onto the next stage in their lives, they can draw inspiration from a number of recent Louis-Riel grads who are doing big things locally and on other frontiers. Some notable grads include:

Arielle Kabangu (’12): Arielle wrapped up a sparkling NCAA soccer career with the St. Leo Lions last year, leaving as the Florida school’s all-time leading scorer. The sports business grad has continued her soccer career back at home with the new West Ottawa Warriors entry in League1 Ontario. The former OFSAA champion for the Rebelles is currently second in league scoring.

Kellie Ring (’11): Another past OFSAA champion (in basketball), Kellie went on to represent Canada at the 2011 Pan Am Games and won a Canadian university national bronze medal while with the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees. She finished her university career with the Ryerson Rams while studying for a digital media masters degree, and then joined the Canadian Olympic Committee’s communications team.

Catherine Traer (’12): A teammate of Ring’s at uOttawa for three seasons (and also with the Rebelles’ OFSAA-champion team), Catherine moved on to Carleton University and led the Ravens women’s basketball team to the first national medal in program history this past season. She earned Canadian championship tournament all-star honours and is now set to represent Canada-Québec at the 2017 Jeux de la Francophonie in Ivory Coast this summer.

Erik Gudbranson (’10): Drafted third overall by the Florida Panthers in 2010 not long after finishing high school, Erik is now in his sixth NHL season with the Vancouver Canucks. Perhaps Louis-Riel’s most famous grad, Erik is regarded as a reliable, physical defenceman, with a long career ahead. His younger brother, Alex (’12), continues to make his living as a pro hockey player as well, playing in the East Coast and American Hockey Leagues, most recently with the Toronto Marlies.

Kimiko Marinacci (’15): A winner of four OFSAA girls’ hockey medals in four years, Kimiko is now a key player for one of the powerhouses in NCAA women’s hockey. The Princeton Tigers defender scored the game-winning goal in her conference playoff quarter-finals and appeared in last year’s NCAA championship tournament.

And the tradition of excellence continues this year, with a number of grads headed on to the next level in the sports world, including Team Canada soccer player Jonathan David, future Nipissing Lakers basketball forward David Quinn, McMaster Marauders volleyball prospect Sabrina Roy, and Gabriel Cinanni, headed to Berkshire School on a soccer scholarship.

“It’s great to know that our program continues to produce great student-athletes, and we definitely look forward to following this year’s grads as they take the next steps in their careers,” Levesque underlines. “On behalf of everyone here at Louis-Riel, I want to thank them for everything they’ve contributed to our program, our school and our community, and I wish them all the best in the future.”

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