Sometimes an organic approach is the best route a coach can take with a team. It worked for the Whitehorse Elementary Wolves.
“We really didn’t have to do much coaching,” said Wolves coach Danielle Nixon. “They’re all in Grade 7, they came out to practice and we (coaches) were just managing subs to make sure everyone had equal playing time.
“Our players were all pretty well-rounded; we could put them anywhere that we needed them.”
The Wolves took the top prize at the Yukon Elementary Schools Soccer Championship at Vanier Catholic Secondary on Saturday, going undefeated at the tournament and shutting out the Jack Hulland Elementary Hawks 5-0 in the finals.
“We played with 10 all morning, so we were short one and had no subs and they just kept going,” said Hawks coach Jodi Tuton. “They didn’t give up – they were pretty awesome.
“They were the little team that could. We had to pick up a few Grade 6ers in the last minute because we were short, and they just kept going – they didn’t give up until the end.”
Scoring for the Wolves were Dakota Thompson, Anna Janowicz and Damien Terry, each with a goal. However, Max Clarke had the biggest impact on the score, with two.
“Max was playing centre-mid the whole time, so he was right in there,” said Nixon. “He’s pretty solid. He’s pretty tall and I think that intimidated the other players.”
Clarke was his team’s high scorer with six goals in the championships, one more than teammate Marcus Deuling.
The two teams had a tighter match on Friday, with the Wolves winning 2-0, scoring both goals in the final five minutes of the game.
To get to the finals, the Hawks rolled over Takhini Elementary Timberwolves 5-0, with Ben Wright scoring a hat trick.
Whitehorse Elementary arrived in the finals with another shutout, winning 2-0 over the Hidden Valley Huskies, who went on to win bronze with a 10-3 win over the Timberwolves.
After taking an early 3-0 lead, the Huskies allowed the Timberwolves to tie the game before scoring seven unanswered goals.
“We got a little bit casual and allowed them to tie it,” said Hidden Valley coach Chris Stacey. “Then I think we got ourselves back together again.”
Scoring hat tricks for the Huskies were Alex Hanson and Liam Dinn, while teammate Bruno Hessel put in two and Allan Mark and Will Sternbergh each registered one.
Even with two Grade 5 and three Grade 6 players, Hidden Valley’s only loss of the tournament came against Whitehorse Elementary in the semis.
“We have only 68 kids in our school,” said Stacey. “Whitehorse Elementary must have seven times that, and it was a very close game.”
1st Whitehorse Elementary
2nd Jack Hulland Elementary
3rd Hidden Valley School
4th Takhini Elementary
5th Ecole Emilie Tremblay
6th Selkirk Elementary
7th Christ the King Elementary II
8th Christ the King Elementary I
9th Holy Family School
10th Elijah Smith Elementary
11th Golden Horn Elementary
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org