North Vancouver’s Keith Jackson capped off his university career by earning the 2018 CCAA Men’s Soccer Player of the Year award following his fifth season with the Capilano Blues.
Jackson, a Seycove Secondary grad, heard his name called at the CCAA awards banquet held recently in Prince Edward Island, site of this year’s national championship tournament. The national award came after Jackson earned Player of the Year status in the PacWest league for the second straight season and was named MVP of this year’s PacWest championship tournament where the Blues won provincial gold.
The prolific striker scored 13 goals in 12 regular season games this year, winning the PacWest scoring title for the third straight season. His 44 career regular season goals are the second most in PacWest history.
“Completing five seasons with the Blues, at a level that Keith has built his reputation upon, is quite an accomplishment,” stated Wade Kolmel, CCAA men’s soccer convenor. “A well rounded, competitive student-athlete such as Keith represents Capilano and all of us in the CCAA quite remarkably.”
In an interview with the North Shore News earlier this season, Capilano head coach Alex Elliott described Jackson as a big, strong, physical, hard-working player who constantly challenges defenders.
“That directness is very frightening for any defender he matches up against because of his physical size and his desire to constantly drive things towards the goal,” said Elliott. “It’s a simple, direct approach that when repeated enough times is going to be effective. It’s really nice to see especially in today’s modern game where things can get overcomplicated. He really does find a way to simplify things. He’s such an amazing student athlete, and you say ‘student’ first because he’s an all-Canadian from an academic standpoint as well.”
The Blues finished fourth at this year’s CCAA national championship tournament, losing to Toronto’s Sheridan College in the bronze medal game.
Jackson has twice been a CCAA Academic All-Canadian and CCAA National Scholar. According to a release from Capilano, he is a also part of the CapU Blues peer mentor program, where he helps younger teammates adjust to university academic life and provides guidance on how to become a successful student-athlete.
Jackson is the eighth Capilano student to be named national Player of the Year and the second men’s soccer player, joining Corey Birza who won it in 2007. He becomes the second Blue to be named the nation’s top player this year, following Simon Friesen who was named 2017-18 CCAA Men’s Volleyball Player of the Year in March.