By Greg Price
Keegan Brantner made W.R. Myers girls rugby program history by being its first player to use her skills to garner a post-secondary scholarship.
Brantner, along with two other southern Alberta players in Abby Neudorf and Mikhi Lagemaat had their announcement earlier this month in having commitments to the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns women’s rugby program. Also announced was Saskatchewan’s Julianna Cornish for the upcoming 2016 season.
After a three-year hiatus, the ‘Horns made a return trip to the CIS Championship tournament, where they finished sixth.
“The first thing we addressed in scouting and signing all four of these players is going back to our roots,” said Pronghorns head coach Ric Suggitt on the U of L athletics web site.
“We wanted home grown talent and we got that and with these four signings we have added depth to critical positions. We also wanted prairie athletes, they are salt of the earth and typically hard working people. We want people at U of L who have a good attitude.”
Brantner, a 5’11” lock, comes to the program with experience at both the provincial and national level as a member of U18 Team Alberta, the U18 Prairie Wolf Pack and an attendee of the Canada U18 invitational camp.
“Keegan at lock adds size and power to our scrum and line out,” said Suggitt. “Also from my brief experience at a couple of training sessions Keegan demonstrates that she is full of energy and intelligence.”
The W.R. Myers girls rugby program has been in existence for five years and with Brantner being the first player to sign on the dotted line with a post-secondary institution, the Rebels coaching staff is ecstatic.
“We are absolutely delighted she has done that. She is definitely a team leader and her leadership is infectious. All of us couldn’t be more delighted in her decision on this one,” said Andrew Llewelyn-Jones, a co-coach with the W.R. Myers Rebels girls rugby program, adding Brantner will bring plenty of strengths to the Pronghorns program. “She is a dynamic player being tall at almost six feet. She can play in positions from the second row to the back row in her versatility. She has great tackling and handling ability. Offloading for her, she’s really grown in stature in that aspect of the game.”