The Nelson Selects U12 Boys Soccer Team took part in the Kamloops Slurpee Cup over the recent long weekend.
The results were somewhat varied as a result of taking two clubs for the large program at this age, but overall some strong performances were delivered from both teams and all the boys. This season Nelson Youth Soccer is treating the U11/U12 age as a development program by carrying more than 30 players.
“The focus at this age is development,” said the program’s mentor coach Jamie Spendlove. “We don’t want to cut any kids and perhaps discourage them from pursuing rep soccer. A kid that might just miss out on the team at this age, if there were cuts, might be a star player in a couple years, with the extra development.
“The challenge for this year, though, is when we enter tournaments, we are generally splitting the boys in half and entering two teams. Our strongest players are spread onto both teams, making them balanced, but not as strong as if we entered just one team.
“This weekend in Kamloops was no different, where we entered two, balanced teams in the tournament.”
The first Nelson team finished the weekend with one win and three losses. However, in two of the three losses the team played very well and with a bit of luck, could have come away with a tie or even a win.
The second Nelson team finished the weekend with two ties and two losses. Again, they played very well in three of the games and could have won both of the games they tied and even in one of the losses.
“I was very pleased with the strong play and leadership shown by our second year players that were put on both teams,” said coach Kerry Dyck. “They lead the way. But at the same time, several of our new players, both U12 and U11, stepped up at times with great performances as well. I found that very encouraging. You could see the progress even through the weekend.”
Leading the way for Nelson from both teams with goals was Ezra Foy with four, followed by Angus Paterson with two and singles by Keanu Tromans, Jesse Thurston, Jesse Harold, Dylan Luscombe, Bradey Sookero, Max Spielman, Josh Schacher, Thomas Baxter and Jaden Dyck.
Game MVP honours were won by Thurston, Spielman, Foy, Dyck and Sookero.
The U11/U12 Selects’ next action is June 2-3 in Kalispell, Montana.