John Neumann, a Bonnyville youth and Voyageur defensive linesman, has signed his letter of intent to attend the University of Alberta, where he will play for the university’s Golden Bears football team.
“U of A’s like a second family to me,” Neumann said in an interview. “I’ve been going to a few of their camps during the offseason, so I’ve been building that relationship for a bit now.”
In addition to the university’s quality football program, Neumann also mentioned Edmonton’s close proximity to home as a factor that attracted him, which he hopes will allow him to maintain ties with Bonnyville.
Neumann first few years of football involved some informal games with friends every so often, and it wasn’t until he was 10 that he would properly get involved with the sport.
“I did six years of karate with my sister, which is kinda what you do until you find something you actually love,” Neumann joked. “And then in 2013 I saw in the newspaper it said the Bonnyville Renegades were starting up peewee level ages.
“Karate was starting to die down in my heart, and football was trying to come back up, so I thought all right I’ll give it a shot for the first year.
“After that I fell in love with the game and I’ve been playing ever since.”
Neumann will be attending the university through a football scholarship and plans to earn his bachelor’s of kinesiology in order to become a fitness trainer, though he does have hopes of going pro.
“I’d love to play for Edmonton someday, and I think everyone who plays has that dream at some point, but that only happens to so many people that I wanna have something I can reliably fall back on.”
Neumann expects to be in school for five years in order to earn his degree, and will likely continue playing the defensive line once he takes the field as a Golden Bear next year.