Cassie Jorgenson and Kate Manning, both graduates of the Green and Gold Athlete Academy, are the two newest recruits committed to the Alberta Pandas Rugby program.
Manning spent two years with the Athlete Academy, while Jorgenson spent her Grade 11 season with the academy, before joining the Rugby Canada Academy this past year. The two join fellow Academy graduates Janelle Amyotte and Melina Ioannides who were also successfully recruited by the Pandas.
"With these two added, it's becoming a great recruiting class. I think both Cassie and Kate can make immediate impacts," said Pandas head coach Matt Parrish. "Cassie is a bit of a physical beast. She's super quick, and I think that's her biggest strength, she loves to run."
"Already, Kate has already shown great poise, calm, and confidence. She can pass incredibly well, and she stood out as an overall athlete," continued Parrish. "She is such an athlete, she could play all over the field, which is extremely valuable."
Both Manning and Jorgenson are northern Alberta natives, with Manning coming out of Ross Shepard High School, and Jorgenson originally from Drayton Valley. Both recruits, like many athletes in the Pandas rugby program, come from various sport backgrounds. Manning played high school basketball, while Jorgenson developed playing ringette.
"I think coming from a second sport will really help my development with rugby," said Manning. "In general, how I see the field, anticipate plays, and helps me a lot with defence, tracking opposing athletes. "
Jorgenson joined the Junior Pandas program three years ago, before spending parts of two seasons with the Athlete Academy.
"I see myself as a speedy player who likes to hit people. I'm excited to transfer what I've learned at the Rugby Canada camp, and apply it to my time here with the Pandas. It's also very comforting going to the Pandas with a bunch of girls I know from the Academy, both athletically and academically."