Bret Seaton viewed as unspoken leader

In 2006, Bret Seaton tried out for the University of Calgary’s female hockey team. As a non-recruited, walk-on player, she was far from guaranteed a spot on the team. That didn’t deter her. Seaton ended up being one of two walk-on players the Dinos took on that year.

 She hasn’t looked back.

“I worked my way up from the bottom. I went from playing on the last line and made it to the first line by the end of the year,” Seaton says. “I also ended up getting a couple of team awards.”

“It’s an accomplishment that I am pretty proud of.”

The past six years have seen Seaton accomplish a lot. In 2007, she transferred to SAIT where she played two seasons with the Trojans. In the fall of 2008, she pulled double duty — playing both hockey and soccer for the Trojans.

Seaton, who grew up on a farm near Brooks, graduated from SAIT with a diploma in hospitality management. She then transferred back to the University of Calgary. In June of 2012, she graduated from the university with a degree in hotel and resort management.

Seaton’s father was a championship water skier. Seaton who is an avid water skier herself, says the sport is a great way to stay in shape during the hockey off-season.

Photo courtesy of Andrew Crossett, SAIT Trojans Athletics After leaving SAIT, Seaton kept active in hockey, playing with teams in both the Western Women’s Hockey League and the Southern Alberta Women’s Hockey Association. But she found herself missing the level of play found in college-level hockey.

This fall, when she decided to enhance her degree by enrolling in SAIT’s business administration program, Seaton was presented with a second opportunity to play for the school. After a three-year break, Seaton is back on the ice for the Trojans.

Experience, attitude valued on young team

At 24 years old, Seaton is the oldest player on the Trojans – a situation that her younger teammates sometimes don’t let her forget.

“There are a lot of jokes cracked about that sometimes,” Seaton says. “But you have to let it roll off your back.”

While they may tease her about her age, Seaton’s teammates and coaches have come to value her experience and leadership abilities.

Terry Larsen, the team’s head coach, says Seaton is “a natural-born leader” both on and off the ice.

“She’s the type of player who goes out and gives you 150 per cent every single time that she steps onto the ice,” Larsen says.

“She’s exactly what you would like all of your players to be.”

Larsen says Seaton’s dedication and work ethic have been appreciated.

Originally from Brooks, forward Bret Seaton previously played two seasons with SAIT before transferring to the University of Calgary.

Photo courtesy of Andrew Crossett, SAIT Trojans Athletics

“We have 11 rookies right now and Bret brings her leadership to those players,” Larsen says. “She just automatically knows the right things to say. All the players listen to her.”

“She’s just that type of a player, and that type of a person.”

Justine Cantley, the Trojan’s team captain says that Seaton is “an unspoken leader” on the team.

“She brings a lot of maturity to the team. Everyone looks up to Bret,” Cantley says. “She has had a huge impact on the team this year.”

Sporting background

Seaton started out playing both hockey and ringette when she was seven years old. She says she eventually decided to settle on hockey because it was better suited to her personality.

“I have always had a bit of an attitude and have always been super competitive by nature,” Seaton says. “I loved the sport and the team atmosphere of it.”

Seaton comes from a sporting family. Her father Paul was a competitive water skier for Great Britain. During his career, he competed on the World Cup circuit, held several world records and co-authored a book about the sport. He also took part in the 1972 summer Olympics where water skiing was a demonstration sport.

Bret Seaton says her father, while very modest about his own accomplishments, has served as a source of inspiration for her own athletic endeavors.

“He has always encouraged me to go as far as I can with hockey,” Seaton says.

Looking to the future, Seaton is hoping to build a career in the hotel and resort field. While she has one more year of eligibility, Seaton is unsure if she will play with the Trojans again next year.

For now though, she is enjoying her time — and her role — on the team this season.

“This might be my last kick at the can,” Seaton says. “I am very grateful I have been given the opportunity to be on the team this year.”

ktaylor@cjournal.ca