Kezama invited to U16 camp in Camrose
Taylor Kezama played well at the Alberta Winter Games last February, even though she had a cast on her wrist. She received an invitation to the girls' U16 hockey camp held in Camrose this summer.
On defence for the Camrose Bulldogs double-A team, she isn't afraid to take on the big boys in bantam hockey. "It is challenging playing against boys and it has made me a better player. You learn to work harder and skate faster," said Taylor. "The downside is that it is rougher and you receive more injuries. It has made me tougher. I only play girls' hockey in a spring league."
Taylor had her spring season cut short when she fell over backwards and hurt her ankle. "I hope the cast can come off soon, so I can train prior to the camp." Taylor was playing for the Central Alberta Rage, based out of Wetaskiwin.
The 14-year-old played hard, stay-at-home defence at the Alberta Winter Games. Although her team lost several close matches at the Winter Games, Taylor and three of her teammates were selected to try out for Team Alberta. "The scouts picked 60 of the top players at the Games and asked them to attend a summer camp. They will then pick the top 20 or 22 players for the U16 team," explained Taylor. "My goal now is to make the top 20. I think I'm in the top half: it will be close. I'm not sure how good some of the other girls are. I know I will have to work hard. It depends on how fast I heal and if I have enough time to prepare and be in good shape."
Making the U16 team is the first goal on Taylor's list of things to do. Her ultimate goal is playing in the Olympics. "This is the first step to making the U18 team. From there, you want to keep improving and I would like to go to the Olympic Games and represent Canada."
Taylor enjoys stopping the other team, rather than collecting points. "I like to shoot, but I don't get a lot of points. I want to work on improving my stops and starts to be in a better position for plays," said Taylor.
When not playing hockey, Taylor enjoys baseball, basketball, track and cross-country running.