8:30 a.m., April 28)
Bulldog signs professional soccer contract
By Fred Sherwin
former Orléans resident Erik Lefebvre is the second most successful athlete
to ever graduate from Béatrice-Desloges high school. The first is another
Erik, that being Erik Bédard, who is currently making $7.75 million as a
starting pitcher with the Seattle Mariners.
now, Lefebvre can only dream of making one-tenth the money his fellow alumni
is making. However, they do have one thing in common. They're both now professional
athletes after Lefebrve was recently signed by the Charlotte Eagles of the
United Soccer League, which is one rung below the more well known Major
As a keeper,
Lefebrve helped lead the Bulldogs to three straight senior boys Tier 2 soccer
championships and was the youngest member of the Ottawa Royals team that
made it all the way to the finals of Canadian senior men's soccer championship.
In his final
year at Béatrice-Desloges, he signed a scholarship to play at Houghton College
in upstate New York. he earned the starting position in net during his freshman
year and eventually became a two-time NAIA All-American.
During his first
year at Houghton, he earned a spot on the All-American Mideast Conference
First All-Star team and never relinquished it. During his sophomore year
he led the Highlanders to the NAIA Region IX tournament where he was selected
to the All-NAIA Region IX first team and was named to the NAIA All-American
As a junior,
Lefebvre was again an All-NAIA Region IX first team member, and was named
NAIA All-American Honorable Mention.
Saving his best
for last, Lefebvre enjoyed a stellar senior season in which he picked up
his fourth selection to the All-AMC first team, and was runner up in the
voting for the most valuable player in the conference. His final campaign
with the purple and gold also landed him back on the NAIA All-American second
Webb says Lefebvres off-season work ethic was a big part of his consistent
performance in net and still is.
at Houghton as well as his time spent working with ParmarSportstraining
will enable Erik to succeed at the next level, says Webb.
able to use his time with ParmarSportstraining to pick up tips from former
Highlander Sanjeev Parmar, who also got his professional start with the
I am extremely
proud of Erik as he takes this next step in his soccer career, says
Coach Webb. I couldnt be happier for him. Erik has been a stalwart
in the net for our program for the last four years. I know I am biased,
but Erik would have to rate as one of the top (goal keepers) to have ever
played at Houghton, if not the best to have ever played the position here.
On top of his
personal accomplishments, Lefebvres leadership on the field helped
the Highlanders win the conference Fair-Play award in three out of his four
join an Eagles organization with strong ties to Missionary Athletes International,
a company which was co-founded by Brian Davidson another former Highlander
net-minder. The Eagles made it to the USL-2 championship game last season,
and are looking to build on that strong campaign.
Away from the
pitch, Lefebvre has had an equally positive effect on the Houghton community.
From making house calls for person training sessions with future players
to assisting with the community gymnastics program, he has become a familiar
face to many Highlander fans.
made a significant impact with the young people in the Houghton community.
Erik has a knack for working with kids and the young people have been blessed
to have Erik around these past four years, says Webb.
For Erik, signing
a contract with the Eagles is just the next step in what he hopes will one
day lead him to either the MSL or professional soccer in Europe.
a great opportunity for me, for sure. It will give me a chance to get a
taste of what playing professionel soccer is like and it will give me a
heightened level of exposure," says Erik, whose ultimate dream is to
one day follow in the footsteps of former great Canadian keepers like Pat
Dolan and Craig Forrest and one day play on the Canadian men's team.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local
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