Focus on Youth: St. Joseph student heading to Queen’s in fall to play soccer

By Phill Potter

Name: Mattson (Mattie) Strickler                                             

Age: 17

Address: Barrhaven

School: St Joseph High                  

Grade: 12

Parents: Tammy and Jay Strickler

Brother: Daniel (15), Grade 10, St Joseph High, plays the guitar in a band

Pet: “I had a 12 year old dog named Lainey. She was an Australian Shepherd and Poodle mix, who just passed recently due to liver cancer.”

Pet Peeve: “I’m a pretty easy going person, so no pet peeves come to mind.”

Part-time Work: Barrhaven Source for Sports for 2 years

Favourite Subjects: “This year I’m taking Advanced Functions, Calculus, Chemistry, Physics, and Biology, so you could say, ‘I enjoy sciences.’”

What do you enjoy reading for pleasure? “I typically enjoy reading dystopian novels, but currently I’ve been reading motivational novels. I seem to be needing more motivation during these times. Also, I’ve been learning more about astrology through different websites, and a new book I got for Christmas.”

Who is your favourite author? “I usually read books by different authors, but I’ve read the most books by Suzanne Collins.”

What is your greatest accomplishment? ”My greatest accomplishment was in 2019 when I placed 2nd at OFSAA for Junior Girls 400m with a time of 56.38. This was such a big deal for me, because I was considered to be the underdog. While all the other girls knew exactly what they were doing, I was inexperienced. Yet it did not appear like that in the race. Honestly, I would have not taken part in this race if it wasn’t for my friend’s older sister, Meagan Adams. Meagan was a high level triathlete at the time, and she gave me the confidence to actually participate in a race I thought I had no chance.”

School Activities: ”In the past I participated in lots of school activities, such as multiple sports teams (tennis, volleyball, football, track), and our school’s Athletic Council which organized fun athletic activities that I took part in.

“This year, since there is nothing going on in athletics, it has been a bit difficult for me to do the activities I usually enjoy, but our Athletic Council has still come together. As a Co-President on the Council this year, I’m in charge of creating our schools alumni website for all graduated students. Although this is not my ideal senior year, I’m hoping things will turn around, and I’ll be able to participate in my favourite spring sports – like football and track.”

Other Activities/Interests: ”One activity that takes up most of my time is soccer. I play competitive soccer with Ottawa South United (OSU) on the Women’s PLSQ team. Before that, I played on the 03 Girls OPDL team where we won the League and Charity Shield (championship game) for two consecutive years!

“Alongside my years of dedication to soccer, I used to spend two weeks away at Camp Wabanaki in Huntsville, where I would go on canoe trips. In the winter I like to go downhill skiing when I have time, and other fun winter activities with friends.”

Career Goals: ”After finishing high school I will be moving to Kingston,  because for the next four years I’ll be working towards my degree at Queen’s University. I haven’t yet decided exactly what I would like to study, but I have applied to the Concurrent Education program (science stream) and the Life and Physical Sciences program. Also, during my four years at Queen’s, I will be a part of the Women’s Soccer Team! Ultimately, attending Queen’s and playing University Soccer, has been my goal since I was 9. I look forward to where these next four years will take me.”

Comment: ”Due to the pandemic this year, we have 2 cohorts, A and B, which are decided by your last name. Within these cohorts we take turns being at school and at home.

For example, I’m in cohort B, but my friend is in cohort A, so while I’m at school Monday, Wednesday and Friday, she’s at home, and while I’m at home Tuesday and Thursday, she’s at school. Although the weeks do vary. This new normal schedule, is not my favourite. Many of my friends and I have been split up due to the cohorts, but it’s better than being at home for the whole year.

Alongside our new weekly schedule, there are no school sports, which used to take up most of my time at school. To compensate for this, I’ve been taking more shifts at work, taking more of a lead with the Athletic Council, and spending more time with friends and family before I leave for school.”