Haines Junction’s St. Elias Community School has sent teams to compete at the Super Soccer Territorial School Championship at the elementary level.
Apparently, at the high school level the tournament is a whole other animal.
“This is a school tournament and my concept of a school tournament is to emphasize sportsmanship, encouraging kids to participate, creating a positive environment,” said Haines Junction coach Dave Weir. “My experience at this tournament was that this was the roughest play that I have seen with this age category. Our repeated complaints about it yielded no fruit.”
Beset by rough play, injuries and players afraid to take the field, the St. Elias Eagles managed to take silver in the boys 15-and-under AA division at the indoor tournament over the weekend in Yellowknife, N.W.T.
They placed second with a 5-0 loss to Yellowknife’s Sir John Franklin School in the final at the tournament that featured school teams from all three Canadian territories.
“The final game that we played was the first clean game we have played in this tournament,” said Weir. “It has been a very different experience for us.
“We played with a couple players choosing not to play because they were scared. And we played with a couple players injured and out. But we did finally have a clean game, so that was good.”
The Eagles had a bumpy road to the final.
They downed a team from Yellowknife’s St. Patrick School 4-3 in overtime in the quarterfinal with Dawson Weir notching the game-winning goal. The St. Pats team received six yellow cards and a red because of their rough play.
The Eagles then topped another St. Pats team in the semifinal, winning 2-1, with Dawson scoring both goals. In that one the St. Pats picked up three yellow and one red card while the Eagles again left with a clean sheet, but three players taken out by injury.
Making their silver medal run all the more remarkable, the Eagles had players from Grade 7 through Grade 10 and was the only co-ed team with Ecko Kirk and Mya Kinney.
They produced three wins, two losses – both by one goal – and one tie in the round robin.
Other scorers for the Eagles were Nick Koe, Joshua Dulac, Austin Franks, Trevor Jones and Joah Thompson.
The silver marks St. Elias’ fourth medal in two years at the Super Soccer tournaments.
The previous weekend an Eagles team went undefeated in eight matches to take gold in the Grade 7 boys division.
Last year Haines Junction Eagles teams won gold in the Grade 8 division and bronze in the Grade 6 division.
Contact Tom Patrick at email@example.com