There was a gold medal at the OWHA provincials with the Oakville Hornets, right?
And OFSAA [Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations] gold with Appleby College?
“Yep,” says Julia Edgar, this time with a little laugh.
And then a gold medal with Ontario Red at the U18 nationals in November?
“Yes,” said this time with an almost embarrassed laugh.
Yes, 2015 was quite a year for the defenceman with Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team.
In between claiming a hat trick of championships, Edgar also took a sneak peek at her possible future beyond the rink.
A Grade 11 biology class piqued her interest in human systems and a Projects Abroad trip this past summer allowed her to explore it more.
She spent two weeks in Córborda, Argentina, with students from the United States and across Europe, visiting different hospitals and shadowing doctors.
Edgar was allowed in the operating room for several surgeries, including a C-section and an appendectomy. She even got a little hands-on experience,
learning how to stitch on a cadaver and assisting a veterinarian in spaying a dog.
“I’m really interested in biology and medicine and that’s possibly a career for me in the future,” says Edgar. “It was an opportunity for me to actually
see if I liked surgery and medicine in a real environment, while getting to go somewhere I’ve never been before.”
Having studied Spanish for a number of years, Edgar chose Argentina to practice the language in a real setting.
“It wasn’t a shock, but you think you know a little Spanish, but once you get there, you don’t really know much at all,” she says, laughing. Edgar, as well
as five other students, stayed with a host family, none of whom spoke a word of English. “It was nice to have students there who were in the same position,
that we were all trying to understand what our host mom would be asking us and it would take all six of us [to figure it out].”
Edgar has committed to Princeton University for the 2016-17 season. In the short term, she’ll patrol the Tigers’ blue line; long-term, though, medical
school is on her mind.
She won’t be the first Edgar sibling to be a post-secondary student-athlete. Older sister Tori is a goaltender for the University of Western Ontario’s
soccer team. “I think she’s a great role model,” says Edgar.
Soccer was the sport Edgar shared with both Tori and oldest sister Alex, and Julia jokingly takes credit for Tori developing into a ‘keeper selected to
represent Canada at the 2015 Summer Universiade.
“Tori used to be a [striker]. In our backyard we had a big net and I would always shoot on her, so I credit her success to me, “says Edgar, cracking up,
“because I was always the one shooting on her even though she wasn’t a goalie.”
Regardless of who gets the recognition on that one, it’s clear each helped drive the other in her respective sport, no more so than in games of mini-sticks
and road hockey.
“If she was playing in net and then I kind of shot it at her head,” says Edgar, “that’s when people got angry. The fun would stop.”
A month after Tori donned a Canadian jersey on the pitch, Julia had her chance to do the same, on the ice.
Starting at 6 a.m. on the last day of the National Teams’ Summer Showcase in August, the 42 invited players came one at a time to meet the coaching staff
to learn whether they would be one of the 23 going to Lake Placid, N.Y., to compete in the annual three-game series between Canada and the United States.
“That was probably the scariest morning but it was the happiest day,” says Edgar. “You’re sitting in that chair and talking to the three coaches and it’s
nice as soon as you sit down that’s the first thing they said and you just can’t stop smiling. I don’t know if you hear the rest of it, of what they’re
saying to you.”
(While no gold medal was on the line, in following a budding trend, Edgar and Canada won the series two games to one.)
For the first time since 2008, Canada is hosting the IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship. As luck would have it St. Catharines is not only less than an
hour away from home for Edgar, but also her dad’s hometown. There will be shortage of familial support at the Meridian Centre.
For all the good things that have come since winning a provincial high school championship last winter, Edgar has her eyes on one more prize before closing
the book on a memorable 12-month chapter of her life.
“It just keeps building,” she says. “I really hope [the worlds] just kind of puts the icing on the cake with another gold medal. I think that one would be