Schram twins crack Canada Games squad
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This article was published 27/07/2022 (244 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Good luck to any Canada Games women’s soccer teams hoping to score with speed against Manitoba.
Or anyone that thinks they can confuse the Herd’s backline.
They’ll have to simply avoid the side Kendra and Sydney Schram patrol at Niagara 2022. The speedy twins from Brandon were named to the 18-player roster as Team Manitoba unveiled its contingent heading to the national multi-sport event from Aug. 6 to 21.
“I’m really excited because we can bring that twin energy,” Kendra said. “… I think it’s really cool and Sydney and I are both really excited because we’re … the only rural players on our team.”
The Games were originally scheduled for 2021 before COVID-19 made preparations next to impossible. Women’s soccer is in Week 2, starting on Aug. 16, so after two full tryout and training cycles, the Schrams have to wait just a little longer to make their Team Manitoba debut.
The extra time is good for them, however, as they both battled injuries during the spring. Sydney had a hamstring strain that sidelined her for three weeks of soccer and limited her track and field season.
Thankfully, their mother, Bobbi, is a physiotherapist and caught the injury early so Sydney could get back to full strength.
Kendra tweaked an ankle and wasn’t sure how it would hold up for track provincials.
The Vincent Massey juniors knew they’d be among the fastest varsity sprinters in the province and proved it. Kendra took the 100-metre silver medal home after a 12.92-second final, .05 behind the winner.
On the final day, Sydney passed the 4x100m relay baton to Kendra with a healthy lead to anchor the Vikings to a convincing provincial gold.
Now Sydney anchors the Manitoba defence and Kendra flanks her at either fullback spot.
It took a while to get here, including nine months of training as part of a 24-player squad that everyone knew would lose six by July. That meant multiple trips to Winnipeg each week.
“Being a training player and knowing there’s four, five, six players going to be cut, it makes you put the extra work in and want to get better every day, and in all areas,” Sydney said. “Not just physically, not just in soccer.”
“We wanted to prove a little bit for ourselves because people have said ‘You haven’t played in Winnipeg, you’re not from Winnipeg, you don’t train as much with the actual team, you’re not going to get as much out of this,’” Kendra added.
“Sydney and I thought ‘well, we have each other, we can train here, we can get it done.’
“We’re really lucky to have the parents we have because if they weren’t able to drive us in and out so often, we wouldn’t have the opportunity we have now.”
The Schrams started playing premier soccer with Westman FC at the under-12 level and jumped to Winnipeg South End United for U16, then switched to 1v1 Futbol Dreams this past year.
They also made the Vancouver Whitecaps Regional Excel Centre (REX) team a few years ago, and have trained with the Brandon University women’s team. They’re used to matching up with Manitoba’s best, or in the case of BU, older, more physical players.
Kendra and Sydney embraced the grind and the payoff is just a few weeks away when Manitoba takes on Saskatchewan on Aug. 17, then Alberta the following day.
“Sydney pushed me a lot because she was coming in every single time with me and going through being sore after sitting in a car for two-and-a-half hours for training, getting up early, that really helped me through it,” Kendra said.
“The hardest part was the mental side of it,” Sydney added. “You have to be really committed and you have to know that even if you have bad days, have bad weeks, to come back at the end of the day and put the work in because all you can do is your best, and it paid off.
“You can be tired but you can push through and exceed your limits.”
Their 1v1 team just lost 1-0 to WSEU in the U17 Manitoba Soccer Association Cup final on Saturday. While a loss to their former team stings, they’re grateful for the chance to play for a team they weren’t able to train with every session.
The Schrams join a strong Westman contingent including Andrew Simard, Graham Wright and Daxx Turner in athletics, Cala Korman and Eric Prokopowich in golf, Hayden Lacquette in male softball and apprentice coach Tanya Thompson for indoor volleyball in Week 2.
Westman’s Week 1 athletes include Dylan Schrader, Skylar Ramsay, Nolan Chastko, Tyler Robertson, Connor Martin and Jaxon MacDonald in baseball, Danika Nell and Brooklyn Franklin in female softball, Izzy Graham in female box lacrosse, Mackenzie Cayer in wrestling and Alissa Janz, Brooklyn and Brianne Zemliak, Sydney Primmer, Emma Fox and manager Kathleen Muirhead in rugby sevens.
Brandon’s Scott Kirk is part of Manitoba’s mission staff, working with swimming in Week 1 and male box lacrosse in Week 2.
“It’s a humongous honour to be able to represent Manitoba,” Sydney Schram said. “It makes me really happy to be able to go somewhere and do things maybe other people wouldn’t get.
“Sport can carry you in so many different areas so I’m really excited to be able to have this opportunity.”
» Twitter: @thomasmfriesen