Cowichan Spartans honoured for sportsmanship

The Cowichan Spartans were a little dismayed to finish sixth at the provincial U17 boys soccer championships in Penticton earlier this month, having ended the tournament with a loss, but they had a lot to be proud of,either way.

Not only was the team among the best half-dozen squads in B.C., but they also received the Fair Play Award in recognition of their sportsmanship throughout the tournament.

"The gentleman who presented it to us said it doesn’t seem like much when you’ve just lost, but it’s an important award," Cowichan head coach Al Longair said.

One of eight qualifying teams from across B.C., the Spartans got off to a rough start in Penticton, but got better steadily as the tournament progressed.

"We had a couple of unfortunate turf bounces," Longair said. "We hit a crossbar. We didn’t have luck going our way through the four games, but the boys played really hard. The conditions were difficult with the heat, but they worked hard and improved each game."

The Cowichan team kicked things off on July 9 with a 5-0 loss to the North Vancouver Fury, and the following day, they lost 3-0 to the Kootenay South Storm. On the third day of the tournament, they got into the win column by edging Terrace 2-1. In their final game, they lost 3-0 to the KLM Kings from Vancouver, the team that beat them 2-1 in extra time in the Coastal Cup semifinal two months earlier.

The Kings were a chippy team, but, true to their Fair Play form, the Spartans

weren’t goaded into retaliating.

"Our communication got better," Longair said. "I felt that our final game was one of our best games as a team. They came together a lot through those four days. It was very rewarding to be involved with that group of boys. They’re a terrific group of kids."

The players had to overcome a few challenges in the lead-up to provincials. For one thing, they had to add five extra players to the roster because some boys were unable to take time to make the trip. In addition to that, the rest of the team hadn’t played a league game since their season ended in March.

"Our first meaningful game was the first

game of the tournament, up against the top team," Longair said. "It looked like we hadn’t played together for a while."

One of the Spartans’ best individual performances of the weekend came from Kevin Harland, who played primarily at centre midfield.

"He got better and better through the tournament," Longair said. "In the last two games, he was on fire, just all over the field. For the most part, we didn’t have one

player who stood out. He comes to mind because of the extra effort he put in as the tournament progressed, but they all played very hard.

"Matt Gurzinski was another tireless worker at striker, and when we needed him, at centre back. And our co-captain, Jeremy Stacey, primarily at centre back, played every minute of every game. He was vital in our defence and started our attack by going on some good runs."

Just Posted

The province has come through with funding for Duncan Manor’s renewal project. (File photo)
Funding comes through for Duncan Manor’s renewal project

Money will come from the province’s Community Housing Fund

The former St. Joseph’s School site will remain an art studio at least into early next year. It will take some time before being converted to an addictions recovery community. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Addiction recovery facility will be all about building community together

Society on a clear path with members’ experiences to provide valuable help

Seniors in the Cowichan Valley are being moved into the new Hamlets. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
New Hamlets in Duncan admitting seniors

Residential-care facility has 88 beds

Police monitor protesters at a blockade in the Fairy Creek area of southwestern Vancouver Island on Wednesday, June 9. (Facebook photo)
Arrests continue to mount at Fairy Creek as protesters complain about RCMP tactics

Number of arrests approach 200 in ongoing southern Vancouver Island logging protest

How to tell if a call from ‘CRA’ is legitimate or a scam

Expert says it’s important to verify you really are dealing with the CRA before you give out any info

The courthouse in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo man, already in jail, found guilty of sexual abuse of sons

Man previously sentenced for sexual interference involving girl in Nanaimo

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Chilliwack cocaine trafficker Clayton Eheler seen with a tiger somewhere in Asia in 2014. Eheler was sentenced to nine years jail in 2018, but was released on bail in October 2020 pending his appeal of conviction.(Facebook)
Director of civil forfeiture seeks $140,000 from Fraser Valley drug dealer’s father-in-law

Clayton Eheler’s father-in-law Ray Morrissey caught with money in Fort St. John by B.C.’s gang unit

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
B.C. clam harvester fined $10,000 for Fisheries Act violations

Charges against three others were stayed in Courtenay Provincial Court

Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Social visits have been allowed since COVID-19 vaccination has been offered in all care homes. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)
B.C. prepares mandatory vaccination for senior care homes

180 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Friday, one more death

Most Read