The Clearwater Secondary School Boys soccer season is now over. The team was able to make it into the Thompson/Okanagan playoffs with a 2-1 victory over Barriere. We came second in our division, the West Zone, and were ranked fifth out of the eight teams that played in the tournament in Kamloops on Oct 24/25.
On day one of the tournament, our first game was against Kelowna Christian School, a team ranked much higher than us. Clearwater played a strong game against a highly skilled and bigger team. We lost 2-0 and both goals were avoidable. Clearwater had its chances to put the ball in the net, but scoring goals has been tough for us this year. Our strength has always been defence.
Next up was the number one ranked soccer team in B.C., Immaculata of Kelowna. They put on a very good display of skilled soccer and we put on a display of strong athletes and toughness. The number one team won the game 2-0, but both Kelowna Christian and Immaculata had to work hard to get their victories.
All the players on the Clearwater team played well, but special kudos go to goalkeeper Nate Wadlegger for an amazing performance.
Even with two losses, day one of the tourney was a success as we played two very strong games.
Day two did not go as well and we played below our abilities for both games. We lost a number of players to injury and illness, so we only had one substitution for both games. The other teams had a full rosters and had many extra players to sub in. In a two day tourney with six hours of soccer, having extra players is the difference between winning and losing.
Our team was slow and flat on day two, and even though we were leading the first game 2-0 at half time, we lost 3-2 to Ashcroft. Basically, Ashcroft wanted the win more than we did and they had the extra players to do it – kudos to their comeback victory.
Our last game of the season was against Kings Christian School. We dominated the game and had lots of chances to score, but again, failed to do so. KCS got a free kick in the second half and scored on a great strike. We lost 1-0 even though the ball was in the other end for 80 per cent of the game.
We have work to do for next year. We want to start an indoor soccer night to improve ball handling skills. We need to get more athletes on the team so we can play more substitutes. This team is made up of fine young athletes and next year, or this winter, we will be looking for more. We always have a good time and lots of laughs, and we hope next season is even better than this one.
Four players are graduating this year and we will miss all of them. I want to thank Aiden Sim, Jairus Bromley, Gareth Hewett and Everett Raschke for their dedication to the team and their love of game. I hope that it is a sport that they will play for the rest of their lives. I am sure that they will all look back at these soccer times with a smile on their face, as we have had a very good time on that green field of dreams at CSS. All four are stellar young people and exceptional athletes and I wish them success and happiness in the future.
– Ian Eakins is coach of the Clearwater Secondary School Boys soccer team