November has been a month of success and celebration for CBU Capers Soccer Player, Owen Sheppard. Coming off the heels of a tournament MVP title at the 2023 USPORTS Soccer Championship, Owen was named AUS Athlete of the Week earlier this month and we know his achievements won’t end here.
Originally from St. John’s, Newfoundland, Owen is currently in the third year of his Bachelor of Business Administration at CBU and simply put, was on fire at this year’s championship tournament. Leaving it all out on the field, Owen started the USPORTS 2023 weekend by scoring twice in regulation and adding another in penalty kicks to move past the UQTR Patriotes in the quarterfinals. Then, just a day later, he scored the only goal needed in a 1-0 semi-final win over Mount Royal University.
The CBU Capers made an impression on Owen at the age of 17 when he saw them play a match during a visit to Vancouver. Watching the team in action ended up being one of the main things that drew him to CBU. Alongside that initial interaction, Owen felt CBU offered good programs while still being close to his home of Saint John’s.
The move to Nova Scotia didn’t bother Owen too much in the end. “It wasn’t too much of an adjustment, going between the provinces,” he says. “They’re not too far away from one another, so I settled in quickly.”
Being a student-athlete is no easy feat, but Owen has continued to find ways to be successful on the field, and off. “It’s been challenging, doing school and footy at the same time, but I’ve been able to balance it better through the years,” says Owen. “My advice to other students would just be to focus on time management. Do things early so you don’t have to worry about them later; time management is key.”
With soccer being such a team-oriented sport, Owen says emphasis has to be placed on the importance of team bonding. “I think bonding is so important for a team,” he says. “Off the field those relationships have to be just as good. You feel more connected, like a family. You end up trusting everyone on the pitch to do their part. So, on or off the field, bonding is a driving force for the team.”
Apart from the role bonding plays for the team as a whole, Owen feels it greatly improves his own individual game in many ways. “The team connection improves my game by knowing I can trust anyone on that pitch,” shares Owen. “It starts off the field. When you know you can trust a teammate, it’s a great feeling. I know those guys will give 100 per cent, so seeing them do that makes me want to give everything I have every game, for my team.”
The support that drives Owen doesn’t just come from the locker room, but also from the community and his family. “My family has played a huge role in my success, along with my friends, teammates and God. I’m truly grateful to have the wonderful people in my life who always support me, no matter what I do,” shares Owen. “The support of the community has been amazing, unreal. All the hard work of our sponsors, fellow students, employees, alumni, it’s been amazing. This is a tournament they set up for us, so we had to win them a gold medal.”
While Owen has created many memories with the Capers thus far, he says winning a national title at home is something he’ll never forget. “We battled through each game and it was tough, but hearing the final whistle in that final game felt unreal,” says Owen. “That was probably the best feeling I’ve had in my life.”
Though the 2023 soccer season has come to an end, Owen looks forward to what comes next for both himself and the Capers. We hope to see Owen return for another year in orange and bring home yet another national title.
To learn more about the CBU Capers, visit gocapersgo.ca