Jackson named national Player of the Year

Keith Jackson, the 2018 CCAA Player of the Year, celebrates after scoring one of his league-leading 13 goals during the regular season. Photo Paul Yates / Vancouver Sports Pictures
Keith Jackson, the 2018 CCAA Player of the Year, celebrates after scoring one of his league-leading 13 goals during the regular season. Photo Paul Yates / Vancouver Sports Pictures

CJ Pentland, CapU Sports Information Director

In his fifth and final season with the Capilano University Blues, Keith Jackson has been named the 2018 CCAA Men’s Soccer Player of the Year. He received the award on Tuesday night at the CCAA Awards Banquet in Charlottetown, PEI, where the Blues are on site to compete at the Men’s Soccer National Championship.

A North Vancouver native, Jackson was previously named PACWEST Player of the Year for the second season in a row and Tournament MVP of the PACWEST Soccer Championships, where CapU won gold and earned a berth to nationals. On Tuesday he also earned CCAA All-Canadian honours for the third season in a row.

“Completing five seasons with the Blues, at a level that Keith has built his reputation upon, is quite an accomplishment,” said 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. Congratulations to everyone involved in the development of Keith Jackson the soccer player and Keith Jackson the student-athlete.”

The fifth-year forward led the PACWEST in scoring for the third-straight season, tallying 13 goals in 12 games. Two of those goals were game-winners, and he had three multi-goal games – including a four-goal effort on September 23 against Douglas College. He finished his regular season career with 44 goals, which are the second most in conference history.

“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 head coach Alex Elliott to the North Shore News. “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.”

A student in the Bachelor of Communication Studies program at CapU, Jackson has been a two-time CCAA Academic All-Canadian and two-time CCAA National Scholar. He also earned a PACWEST Academic Excellence Award in 2017-18, and is a part of the CapU Blues peer mentor program, where he helps younger teammates adjust to university academic life and provide guidance on how to become a successful student-athlete.

Jackson becomes the eighth Capilano Blues student-athlete 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.

Jackson will now do his part to lead the Blues to his and the team's ultimate goal: a national championship. He previously won CCAA bronze with CapU in 2016, as well as two PACWEST championships and one PACWEST bronze medal. The Blues start play at nationals on Wednesday, November 7 against Sheridan College at 1:30pm PST; all tournament games can be livestreamed through the CCAA website.