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After World Cup, rising soccer star returns to B.C. school to inspire students


Fresh from representing Canada at the World Cup in Qatar, rising soccer star Joel Waterman made a triumphant return to the Fraser Valley high school he graduated from to share some inspiring words with current students.

"It's impossible to know what the pathway to success is going to look like. But what I do know is the blueprint is written across these walls," he said during an assembly at Aldergrove Community Secondary School. "Dream, believe and achieve."

For Waterman, it's been a long way to the top of the Canadian soccer landscape.

Following five seasons playing for Trinity Western University, he spent time with three different minor league clubs before advancing to Major League Soccer where he now patrols the back line as a defender for CF Montreal.

"It's like I told the kids, stay disciplined and committed to whatever dreams you have," Waterman said. "There's going to be no's along the way, people who tell you that you can't do it. That's just the way life is. Just keep doing your thing and working hard."

That story of perseverance resonated with many of the teenagers who are just now trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives.

"Even though you're from a small town you can make it up there," said Grade 11 basketball player Ibrahim Arram. "You can be a pro. It doesn't matter where you're from."

At the assembly where Waterman addressed the students, the school announced it will hang his Canada Soccer jersey on the school's athletics wall of honour.

"Things like this don't happen often in Aldergrove. We're a pretty small school and a pretty small community," said Grade 12 student Eshveer Gill about meeting a local who plays for Team Canada.

As he continues to follow his passion on the pitch wherever it may take him, Waterman remains grateful for his brief trips home to see family and friends – and to visit the school that nurtured and guided him.

"I look at those kids and I see myself, knowing that I sat in those same bleachers and listened to people speak on their dreams," Waterman said. "And now I can be one of those people for them." Top Stories

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