Soccer always changing to keep current

NANAIMO – It’s safe to say that change has been the order of the day on the local youth soccer scene.

It’s safe to say that change has been the order of the day on the local youth soccer scene.

First was the decision late last year to change the organization’s name from Nanaimo Youth Soccer Association to Harbour City Football Club. Then came an announced partnership with the Vancouver Whitecaps to form a Whitecaps Island Academy.  Last February brought a controversial announcement that the organization would drop its partnership with the Oceanside, Mid-Isle and Gabriola clubs. Citing philosophical differences for the decision, technical director Claude Bolton stated that Nanaimo house league players will in future form a self-contained league of their own. Bringing more change recently, long-time volunteer Liam Roden stepped down as club president. Roden had served on the Board of Directors since 2001 and was elected as president in 2011. Appointed to replace him as president was Ian Johnson.

One thing didn’t change, however. That was giving recognition to league winners, as the youth season wrapped up recently with the presentation of medals to the top boys’ and girls’ teams in the different age divisions. We’ll review the boys’ results this week…

In the U13 age division, league champions this past year were the Branch 10 Legion Raiders, coached by Rob Shelley, Bruce Erickson and Chey Miller. On the top team were players Eli Beuckert, Jacob Erickson, James Fiddick, Ian Forbes, Michael Phillips, Sahil Gill, Jaskarn Golebans, Jared Hamilton, Corbin James, Bradley Nelson, Ryan Patenaude, Zachary Rogers, Garrett Watson, Clayton White and Drew Zandee.

Runner-up in league play was the Oceanside squad coached by Robin Volk. Third place went to Ekland Derkach Team Canada. On the roster were players Venay Banga, Quinn Cuthbert, Aurgha Das, Owen Derkach, Graham Dimos, Rhys Ekland, Liam Foster, Graham Hein, Jake Nikirk, Joshua Pooley, Jack Redberger, Leo Shin, Logan Taylor, Zachary Taylor, Alexander Thorsteinsson and Curtis Vit. Rod Ekland was head coach for the boys, assisted by Tom Derkach and Ron Dimos. Team manager was Lee Dimos, who reports that Team Canada, although third in league play, upset the two top-seeded teams to win the year-end tournament.

Top team in U14/15 boys’ league play this season was coach Dave Robinson’s Oceanside team. Taking second place came coaches Rob Griffin and Rob Lajeunesse and their Mid-Isle team comprised of players Santana Andrews, Chris Brogan, Deriq Danois, Jake Griffin, Mathew Morgan, Will Harris, Colton Lajeunesse, Wyatt Hutt, Justin Nichols, Teegan Lance, Colton Valance, Kaleb Hartig, Kyle Kulak, Taylor deSouza and Grayson McDonald. Third place went to the Harbour City crew coached by Adrian Kempster.

In U16/18 boys’ action this year, the league title went to players Garrett Jolicoeur, Ryan Becker, Shane Houtman, Caelan Heaps, Daniel Prince, Ian Whibley, Jacob Cloutier, Spencer Land, Aidan Canil, Eric Wiersma, Shane Craven, Felix Wachter, Nubian Smith, Adam Soer, Brendan Campbell, Willem Kuun, Lucas Conway, Daniel Grant and Pablo Lavin. The team was coached by Cliff Craven and Kirk Campbell, with Angie Wiersma the team manager.

Runner-up was Harbour City Team Portugal, coached by Calven Chow and Steven Hall. On the roster were players Jack Balderson, Riley Cochrane, Benjamin Daniel, Darian Degroot, Aaron Halsall, Brenden Johnston, Tristan Olsen, Clayton Smith, Cameron Vallee, Marco Velez, Marcus Vit and Christopher Hall.

Claiming third place in the U16/18 division was Harbour City Team Italy. Players on the pitch were Thomas Bourgeois, Jack Bullen, Arthur Berthold, Phil Denhoff, Max Ehlert, Garrett Goodall, Jake Goodman, Kaleb Graham, Kreston Lance, Caleb Liggett, Robby Manj, Riley McDougall, Shaan Nagra, Braedan Zimmer, Josh Vojan and Roman Santiago. Coaches for Team Italy were Lorne Goodall and Dale Nagra, with Deb Denhoff the team manager.

Next week we’ll review to top girls’ youth soccer teams from the past season.

Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.