The Clearwater Secondary School boys soccer season was a great success. The team qualified for the Okanagan championships for only the third time by beating out Ashcroft, Kamloops Christian School and Barriere to place second in their pool.
The team then travelled to Kelowna to play in a two-day round robin tourney against some of the best in B.C.
Our first game was against Aberdeen Hall, the first place team in the Okanagans, and we were big underdogs. Clearwater played a strong game and was only down 1-0 after the half, but lost the game 3-0. This was an excellent result by our team.
Our second game was against Immaculata, a highly skilled team and the eventual winner of the tournament. Clearwater did not play well and fell 5-1.
On day two, we had an early game versus Vernon Christian School. This was the best game that Clearwater has played in years.
Vernon had the edge in play, but our strong goal tending and defence did not allow many good quality chances. Vernon’s mid-field was very strong, but Clearwater’s midfield was able to contain them. We were hard on the ball and shut down the more skilled side. For the first time in a long time, our forwards put the ball in the net with style and we won the game 3-1.
Timo Menard was the man of the match with the best game he has ever played. He set up a beauty goal and then tapped in another later in the game.
Our last game of the year was against Keremeos. We played a poor first half and were down 4-1. We gave away two cheap goals with a couple of unfortunate plays. In the second half, we played with desperation and took the game into their end for the whole 35 minutes.
There were numerous mad scrambles in front of their net, and we owned the field, but we were not able to put the ball in the net. We lost the game 4-1, though we played so much better than the score reflected.
Man of the match was Boden Eakins for shutting down their best player and then taking control of the mid field. Larson Wadlegger scored Clearwater’s only goal on a great shot.
I am very pleased with the end result. The team played well against superior squads and never gave up. The top four teams go to BC Provincials and all of those were private schools. We came sixth, which is the best showing that we have ever had.
Every player deserves a big thank you for showing up and playing hard. A group of players saved our season as we did not have enough to field a team and just about dropped out of the tourney that we fought hard to get into. Thanks go to Usman Sharif, Cedrik Menard, Julien Dewey, Austin Chrystall and Lachlan Wilson.
Four Grade 12 students will move on to bigger things next year: Boden Eakins, Larson Wadlegger, Levi Walker and Jared Walker. I hope that they continue to play soccer as they are good enough to play on university teams.
On a final note – CSS has the best school fields in the Thompson/Okanagan. I thank the school and those who tend the fields for their good work.