Front Row - Goalie: Rayham Davis. Middle Row - Left to Right: Sam Weinstein, Nico Gagnon, Jameel Abu, Sonny Maclean, Kayden Kenny, Milo MacDougall, Cooper Cyr, Dylan Hikisch. Back Row: Sandy Maclean (assistant coach), Marcheal Hanes, Kaleb Bourre, Jesse Wimbush, Ryan Kilback, Jules Tersago, Wyatt Mowatt, Owen Puentes, Ben Weinstein (coach). (Cormac Hikisch photo)

Front Row - Goalie: Rayham Davis. Middle Row - Left to Right: Sam Weinstein, Nico Gagnon, Jameel Abu, Sonny Maclean, Kayden Kenny, Milo MacDougall, Cooper Cyr, Dylan Hikisch. Back Row: Sandy Maclean (assistant coach), Marcheal Hanes, Kaleb Bourre, Jesse Wimbush, Ryan Kilback, Jules Tersago, Wyatt Mowatt, Owen Puentes, Ben Weinstein (coach). (Cormac Hikisch photo)

Smithers U14 soccer boys excel in Lower Mainland tourney

The team’s 1-3 record was not indicative of how well the boys played, coach says

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, a team of U14 boys competed in Richmond’s “Turkey Tourney.”

Head coach Ben Weinstein said the team’s three-loss, one-win record belied how well the boys played.

“In each game, we were in there until the very end (in two of the games we were down 1-0 until the end when we pressed hard and the opposing teams scored on the counter attack),” Weinstein said. “The boys showed excellent dedication and passion to the sport and worked really hard.”

He said even attending the tournament was a stretch goal for Bulkley Valley soccer.

“We set it early in the season and practiced all summer in preparation. For many kids (and parents) it was their first organized team sport trip.”

Overall, it was a very significant event for the local soccer program.

“It was an amazing experience for the kids, parents and coaches, and I am very proud of the team and all my players,” he said. “Considering that, due to COVID, prior to the tournament we played a grand total of three games against boys our ages this summer, we did amazing.”

Furthermore, he added, the Lower Mainland teams that also participated, were amazed and thrilled to see a team from the north show up and compete so admirably.

“The team faced some adversity that we needed to overcome as a group (and we did in so many ways),” Weinstein concluded.

– With files from Grant Harris