VIdeo Spotlight - Kalem Scott

LANGLEY, British Columbia -When first-year Trinity Western men’s soccer defender Kalem Scott was asked what his dream career would be, his answer was two-fold.

The first answer was akin to discovering sand on a Californian beach.

“To be a professional soccer player.”

The second answer, however, at least to those who have never met Scott, was more like finding snow on that same Californian beach.

“To be a fashion designer.”

Sure, he may direct his hair in a fashionista-esque “faux-hawk meet electric socket” look and also often sports a pair of silver earrings, but even so, a soccer-playing fashion-designer wasn’t quite what one would expect for his dream career.

That is, until you really start chatting with the Comox, B.C. product. Because once one gets to know Scott, it actually all makes perfect sense. In reality, his response to that one simple question tells you a whole lot about the 5-foot-9, 170-pound Scott.

When you get down to it, what makes Scott the player he is today and the designer he would love to be tomorrow, is the fact he just wants to look good.

Not that he’s a vain individual who only cares about appearance but at the end of the day, both on and off the field, Scott plays as sharp of a game as any. And for both the players and the coaches of the Spartans men’s soccer team, they couldn’t be happier to have the Vancouver Islander in their locker room.

Since coming to TWU this year, Scott, who is studying human kinetics, has played every single minute of every single Canada West regular season game and, despite being only 18-years-old, the centre-back has done everything the Spartans have asked and more.  

“I look at how good we are in the back this year and Kalem just gives us that X factor of speed that no one is going to get past him,” said Spartans coach Pat Rohla. “Kalem is a glue guy who sticks to the task. In terms of his playing ability, he’s a freak athletically. His compete level is off the charts. He’s the reason that our back line doesn’t get penetrated, either by his awareness or his athleticism.”

And while playing all 900 minutes of the Spartans season thus far – and helping TWU to a 0.90 goals against average, which is third in the conference – Scott has done so with a flair few others possess; a style he possesses thanks, at least in part, to his fashion designer’s mentality.

“Sexy soccer is the only way to play,” Scott said. “That is soccer.”

In the often rough and tumble Canada West, “sexy” isn’t exactly the first word that comes to mind when describing the conference’s style, but Scott is doing his best to bring a little more pizzazz to the Spartans game. And to do so effectively just 10 games into his university career shows the confidence he has in himself.

On the field he’ll take on anyone and off the field he’ll talk to everyone.

“He’s full of life.” Rohla said. “He’s a guy that everyone connects to. His personality is inclusive. He loves his teammates and he loves what he’s doing.

“He’s passionate and he’s energized. He has a really good awareness of team and he has real positive demeanor in that regard. It’s rare for a rookie to come in and do what he’s doing, but that’s just him.”

For Scott, it is him. And being the youngster is nothing new.

Just this past summer, Scott played with the Victoria Highlanders of the PDL (Premier Development League) and saw action in all 16 games and averaged 77 minutes per outing.

“My goal going into that team was to start every game and I achieved that so I was extremely happy,” said Scott, who prior to his time with the Highlanders saw time with the Vancouver Whitecaps residency program and, for two years, with U15 and U16 with the B.C. provincial team. “Coming to Trinity Western, I had the same goal and so far so good.”

At each level, he stands out. So when he made the immediate impact he has this year with the Spartans, it wasn’t as if he expected starting minutes to be handed to him but rather he expected himself to grab those minutes.

“It’s a lot more physical and it’s a lot more demanding with the two games every weekend and the travel schedule,” Scott said. “But I love it and I love the intensity. And at the end of the day it’s still soccer and I’ve played it my whole life. I just go out there and have fun.”

And that’s how it looks.

Sure, if he had his druthers, the Spartans uniforms would be a little tighter, but other than that he figures, on the pitch, soccer-wise and apparel-wise, he looks just fine.

And off the pitch, well, he’s certainly a unique individual – the kind of person who will go to Red Lobster for a steak and seafood dinner by himself or aspire to design a leather-trimmed t-shirt that has the sleeve intentionally missing – and the Spartans wouldn’t want it any other way.

“He does have natural flair,” Rohla said after learning of his fashion design aspirations. “He is eccentric. I can see it. He’s got lots of panache.

“But right now, I’d much rather have him as a soccer player than a fashion designer.”

And the way he looks on the field these days, Scott is okay with that too.




Last Updated: 2012-10-19
Author: Mark Janzen