The Duncan Christian Chargers fell short of their goal as hosts of the provincial single-A boys soccer championships last weekend, but their coaches were anything but disappointed with the performance.
Although they finished 15th out of 16 teams, the Chargers raised the level of their game beyond what the coaches had seen previously, coach Ian Smith said.
“As a team, they came together, dug down deep and found a way to deal with the losses and go beyond that,” he observed.
Looking back at the team’s goal of finishing somewhere between fifth and eighth, coach Chris Muller acknowledged that his young team has yet to reach its potential.
“I did have a feeling we might do a bit better,” he said. “It proved we have some work to do. We need to understand the game a bit more.”
The Chargers found themselves in a difficult pool with Credo, the 2018 B.C. Christian Schools champions, Immaculata, who would go on to finish second at the provincial tournament, and David Thompson, the Kootenay champions.
Finishing fourth in their pool, the Chargers went on to play for 13th through 16th. They lost their first playoff match 4-2 to Lakes District on Friday afternoon, getting goals from Jesse and Josh Greir, then beat St. Ann’s 6-4 on Saturday morning on goals by Andrew Young, Cam Stevens, Josh Greir, Nathan Powell, Raphael Henry and Vincent Fernandez.
Smith and Muller were pleased to get experience at such a high level, which will help their young, up-and-coming players down the road.
“The boys are positive; they know they’ve got a great future,” Smith said, acknowledging that the team will miss graduating players Fernandez, Jesse Greir, Ben Henry and Ben Kapteyn.
“Overall, I think it was a very good experience for our school, for the team and the school to be able to host an event of this stature,” he said.
St. Andrew’s defeated Immaculata 2-1 in the championship match on Saturday afternoon, with Andrew Pearse earning MVP honours. Ben Henry was Duncan Christian’s recipient of the Commissioner’s 11 award.
DCS athletic director Tom Veenstra was proud of the way the school and the soccer community came together to make the event happen.
“I really appreciated how the entire school community rallied around and wholeheartedly supported our efforts to host,” he said. “Our tournament committee led by DCS supporter extraordinaire Henrietta Groenendijk and amazing team members Arnie Hengstler and Carol Kapteyn, combined with an army of supportive parents and staff and admin to put together a very successful championship.”
DCS students played key roles, including set-up, take-down and hosting duties at five different field locations, record-keeping and forwarding of results and Player of the Game presentations.