The Nelson Selects U14 Boys team travelled to the Lower Mainland on the Thanksgiving weekend to compete in the Richmond FC Thanksgiving Tournament.
“We wanted the boys to have a chance to continue playing into the fall, rather than wrapping up our season after the Sandpoint Tournament at the beginning of September,” said coach Kerry Dyck. “I’m not aware of any other team from Nelson having attended this tournament. We didn’t have any idea about the teams we would face, and what to expect.”
As it turned out the boys fared well against their Lower Mainland opposition, winning all three games of the round robin to reach the final.
“We beat a Vancouver team 3-0, a Richmond team 1-0 and a Coquitlam team 4-0 in the group stage,” explained coach Lyle Hill. “Needless to say, we were very pleased with the boys’ play winning every game, and not conceding a goal in the process.”
Goal scorers were Blake Markin-Hellekson, Thomas Baxter, Keanu Tromans, Owen Box, Ezra Foy, Bradey Sookero and Josh Yasek. Sookero played two games in goal and Markin-Hellekson one, for the shutouts.
In the final, the Nelson squad faced a Vancouver team, and ended up tied 0-0 after regulation, going to shootouts.
For the second tournament in a row, though, the boys came through in the shootout, winning 5-4 after six shooters. Netting for Nelson were Yasek, Foy, Jesse Thurston, Grayson Hill and Luka Eyre.
“I was especially pleased with the style of play our boys employed throughout the weekend,” Dyck said. “We really played good possession soccer, rather than kick and run which is what we, along with Brett Adams, our Whitecaps Technical Director, have been working on all along,” said Dyck. “It was a fantastic end to a great season for the boys!”