Yale Secondary seniors Alex Johnson and JJ Pankratz have landed athletic scholarships from Simon Fraser University. They’ll join the Clan next fall.

Lions’ pride: Johnson, Pankratz land athletic scholarships from SFU

Alex Johnson and JJ Pankratz play different sports, but the Yale classmates chose the same university destination for similar reasons.

Alex Johnson and JJ Pankratz play different sports, but the Yale Secondary classmates ended up choosing the same university destination for similar reasons.

Both Johnson (women’s softball) and Pankratz (men’s basketball) are headed up Burnaby Mountain next fall to attend Simon Fraser University after signing letters of intent to seal athletic scholarships.

The Clan sports teams are part of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, an NCAA Div. II league, and both athletes cited the opportunity stay close to home while facing competition from south of the border as a determining factor.

“It just seems to fit perfectly for me,” Johnson said. “It’s close to home, good academically, and has a good softball program.”

Pankratz’s post-secondary decision was complicated by the fact that he’s also an outstanding baseball player. The righthanded pitcher posted a 2.79 earned run average with the Abbotsford Junior Cardinals this past summer, and helped the team to a second-place finish at provincials.

But he’d also emerged as a blue-chip hoops prospect – at 6’5”, he boasts exceptional range on his three-point shot. Pankratz led the Yale Lions to a AAA provincial tournament berth last March, and in August, he was a catalyst for Team B.C. in a third-place finish at nationals. He scored 16 points and hit the go-ahead three-pointer in the final minute as B.C. edged Quebec 73-72 in the bronze medal game.

“I started to have a little more success in basketball, so I just decided to stick with it,” explained Pankratz, who is one of the headliners on a Lions hoops squad currently ranked No. 2 in the province.

Johnson honed her skills locally with the Abbotsford Outlaws, and is a member of the baseball/softball academy at Yale.

She’s a catcher, and said that the position is a good fit for her personality.

“Being a catcher, you have to be in charge of the whole playing field,” she explained. “You’re kind of the boss on the field. I try to make sure everyone’s lined up right and working as hard as they can. I love it.”

Just Posted

The Bandits arrive in the Fraser Valley

New professional basketball team announces name, colours and logo

Adam Hadwin feels better second time around at British Open

Canada’s highest-ranked male golfer earned more than US$1.4 million this season

Abbotsford’s Departed deputy city manager hired by Nanaimo

Jake Rudolph to fill interim position at Nanaimo city hall, where his predecessor was arrested

Three Days Grace to perform in Abbotsford

Internationally acclaimed Three Days Grace to perform at the Abbotsford Centre

Looking for Abbotsford families to host Japanese students

EduTour has been bringing exchange students into the Abbotsford area for more than 20 years

VIDEO: Visual recap of Vancouver Island MusicFest

Walk Off The Earth, Passenger, Arlo Guthrie among highlights

Trudeau’s youth council divided over Trans Mountain pipeline purchase

A letter signed by 16 past and present members was made public today, asking the federal government to reverse course

Hulk Hogan reinstated into wrestling Hall of Fame

Hogan had used racial slurs caught on video when talking about his daughter sleeping with a black man

Coco the cat survives horrific house fire wrapped in a blanket

Found in the laundry hours after Chilliwack firefighters douse blaze that destroyed five structures

‘Lava bomb’ through roof of tour boat injures 22 in Hawaii

“An explosion occurred near the shoreline hurling hot lava rocks towards the boat and injuring several passengers”

B.C. teen meets Nicolas Cage

Filming mob movie in downtown Vernon, B.C.

Critics claim Trump “defended a tyrant”

Trump questions US intel, not Putin, on Russia 2016 meddling

B.C. MLAs choose new children’s watchdog

Jennifer Charlesworth has worked in government, social services

B.C. reporter calls out immigration photo on social media as fake news

A Vancouver reporter is calling out a British politician for spreading fake news

Most Read