Carter Hofer wasn’t on the volleyball court during his final year at Canadian Mennonite University, but the Blazers’ left side is leaving a two-time champion — winning in his first and final seasons.
The men’s volleyball team was down two sets to none in the 2020 Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference championship game against the top-ranked PUC Pilots, but led by Hofer, the Blazers made a massive comeback and lifted the trophy after winning a five-set match in their home gym.
“That’s probably my favourite sporting moment I’ve ever been a part of,” said Hofer. “To end on a note like that was awesome and that group of guys we had was so great too. I’ll always look fondly on that memory and as much as I would have loved to try and win another one with those guys, I’m definitely at peace with that ending just because it was so great, and it was such a crazy game.”
An image that stands out in Hofer’s head is one of him and co-captain Makoy Penner facing their fans while raising the MCAC trophy and championship banner after that game. Hofer says his friendship with Penner is one that will last a lifetime, but Penner also helped him become the leader he is.
“He was a leader when I came on and he really took me under his wing,” said Hofer. “… he went about his business in a way that was so awesome and uplifting to everyone around him and I think right from the start, joining the team, he showed me what a leader is, and I think the leader I became on our team was because of him because he modelled it so well for me.”
When reflecting on his time at CMU, Hofer says there were a lot of memories made on the court, but there were just as many made off the court.
“At CMU there was tons of great community, so it was great to make some lifelong relationships and it was cool I’ll be able to take that away from volleyball. The time spent in between games, the times at practices, the times just at school with the teammates are definitely one of the things that I’ll leave the sport looking back fondly of,” said Hofer.
The 22-year-old is graduating from CMU with a Bachelor of Science and will be continuing his education in the University of Manitoba’s faculty of education. Hofer hopes to become a teacher when he graduates.
“I’m thinking maybe high school science,” he said. “My mom is a Grade 4 teacher and I’ve been working a bit in her classroom and I think that’s something I would enjoy as well. I know I want to be a teacher, exactly where that will take me, I’m not entirely sure yet.”
When it comes down to slamming down some more kills in the future, Hofer says he might play in a men’s league, but he sees himself more in a teaching role.
“I can definitely. See myself as a coach in the future, I’m planning on being a teacher so I hope that I can also coach when I’m doing that,” said Hofer.