In the Hands of a Hockey Pro

Former SJHL Battlefords North Stars’ captain, Jake Southgate is continuing his dream of playing professional hockey in his first season of NCAA Division 1 hockey with the Lindenwood Lions in Saint Charles, Missouri. Hailing from a small farming community, Southgate reflects on his roots and the impact his upbringing had on his hockey career.

Southgate, 21, was born and raised on his family farm, S & K PRT Farms, which is currently run by his father, a CANTERRA SEEDS' canola grower, Stuart Southgate. It was here on the farm where the makings of a hockey player began.

“My dad built us an outdoor rink that was almost full-size when I was 10 years old. Being able to go out there and play with all my brothers was special growing up,” says Southgate, who attributes a lot of his success to his parents. “The work ethic I got from my mom and dad is [also] something special about being a farm kid.”

From a young age, Southgate knew he wanted to play for his home team, the Battlefords North Stars, where he would later in life become captain, leading the team to victory in the 2023 CANTERRA SEEDS Cup championship.

“It was a dream come true,” says Southgate. “I went to all the Battlefords North Stars’ games when I was growing up. My dream was always to play for [them], so being able to do that and being able to win was really, really special.”

Southgate attributes the success of the Battlefords North Stars in the 2023 Championship to a strong sense of confidence and reliance among teammates.

“Every single guy trusted each other. It didn’t matter who was on the ice or who was going to get it done, it just felt like we were going to win every game,” says Southgate. “Having the trust in your teammates and being able to count on each other is like a huge part of being a team, especially a successful one.”

Southgate is still keeping up with the Battlefords North Stars this year, who are currently sitting at second in the league with 66 points, right behind the Flin Flon Bombers with 74 points.

“I’ve been watching, and Battleford is having a good year so far, so is Flin Flon, so I hope Battlefords can beat them in the final again,” says Southgate.

Southgate recognizes the importance of hockey in Canada and shows his appreciation for the central role hockey plays in fostering a sense of community and pride back home.

“Everyone seems to play hockey back home,” says Southgate. “Especially now that I have come down here, I can really see how important hockey is in the small farming towns and communities in Canada.”

For Southgate, hockey has always been the primary focus, but the farming life remains close to his heart. During the summer, he returns to Battleford to work on the farm, gaining hands-on experience and honing his understanding of the agricultural business.

“Farming has always been at the back of my mind,” says Southgate. “My number one goal is to play hockey at the highest level possible, and my goal after that is to go back and farm.”

Jake Southgate's journey from the farm to the ice exemplifies the unique intersections of rural life, hockey, and personal growth. As he continues to make strides in his NCAA career, Southgate's story serves as an inspiration for aspiring athletes, showcasing the importance of embracing one's roots while chasing dreams in unfamiliar territory.

CANTERRA SEEDS’ looks forward to following similar stories of success with the release of the Golden Sheaf Program – honouring Ag roots in the hockey world — as part of our on-going partnership with the SJHL, who are proud and passionate about fostering Saskatchewan-born talent.

Jake Southgate (left) and Jaa Southgate (right)

Jake Southgate (left) and Jaa Southgate (right)

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