For Willems, focus is effort and hard work.
By Jadon Frank
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.”
Aristotle’s quote inspires Briercrest second year forward Caleb Willems to continue to work hard.
The Regina native has made an impact on head coach Dalton Stoltz this season.
“He is a leader I can build a team around,” Stoltz said. “I wish he could stay here for five more years after this season!”
The biblical studies major has learned to focus on his strengths as a hockey player.
“Hard work and effort are my biggest strengths,” Willems said. “Growing up in hockey it was my effort that got me through. I have not been overly skilled, so working hard every day is what I need to do to contribute to the team.”
“My goals as a student are to do the best that I can, make sure I’m getting my homework done and get the marks that I can,” Willems said. “I really try to remember what I learn.”
Willems had several opportunities coming out of high school but felt Briercrest was the best one.
“Graduating from high school I really wanted to attend Bible college, so it was either here or another place,” Willems explained. “I also wanted to continue playing competitive hockey and Briercrest offered that so I came and tried out for the team and ended up making it so I stuck around and I love it!”
The versatile forward, who has played both left wing and centre, has really enjoyed his time at Briercrest.
“What’s special about playing hockey here at Briercrest is that we all have common goals, to bring God glory through our sport and through hard work,” Willems said. “It’s pretty nice to come to a team with a lot of Christians on it, whereas playing hockey throughout life being the only Christian on the team, or one of only two. It’s a really neat experience having guys like that on my team, just loving you and having the same goals as you.”
Coach Stoltz is glad that Willems decided on Briercrest and appreciates him beyond his athletic ability.
“He has a great heart and great attitude,” Stoltz said. “Willems is just a great man of God. He is a player I will always have time for in this life no matter where God takes him. “
Willems’ parents have taught and molded him into the person he is today.
“They have always encouraged me to be involved in lots of things and do the best I could,” Willems said. “They always let me know that they were proud of me.”
Willems education will not be complete when he leaves Briercrest.
“I will probably go get more education,” the Regina Christian School alumnus said. “Probably study engineering; I really enjoyed that in high school, math and science classes.”
The impact that Willems wants to have on the world goes beyond what he does for a living.
“Each and every day I try to make the world better by simply loving God,” Willems said. “As a result, my love for God will turn to a love for others and by loving others the way that Christ loved me, the world will be radically changed in Jesus’ name.”