Simon Gray Reflects on Soccer Success


by Simon Gray, Grade 7

The Under 13 boys soccer team has just returned from the CAIS national tournament held in Aurora, Ontario where we were hosted by billet families from Country Day School. Our adventure started at 0500 hrs. on Oct 20 as we were led on to our plane to Toronto by our mightly leaders Mr. Manson –Blair (coach) and Mr. Hyde-Lay (manager). We flew into Toronto and spent one day having the adventures of a lifetime. We toured the Hockey Hall of Fame and then went to Air Canada Center and had a personal tour followed by the chance to watch the Raptors practice. The head coach of the Raptors spoke to us and reminded us of the importance of playing as a team. He had no idea how important that advice would become!

The next day we played a grueling and frigid three games. Despite the illness and exhaustion of some players we managed to win two of the games which advanced us to the gold tier. The following day we played UCC (tie), St. Georges (win), and then HSC (tie). Our final game of the tournament was a heartbreaking loss to LCC (1-0). After the initial disappointment of not advancing to a national final, and giving ourselves a few minutes to thaw our frozen bodies, we realized that we were the only team to score against the powerhouse and gold medal winner, UCC. We were the underdogs and we had fought hard and come within one goal of securing a berth in the finals.

The tour was an amazing experience for all of us. We learned that even when you are so cold you can’t feel your feet, you still play soccer, and when one of your team mates is exhausted and sick, you step up and give it all you can. Most importantly we learned that as a team we can accomplish great things and we have another five and a half years to make SMUS proud.

This amazing trip would not have happened without the leadership, encouragement, and coaching of Mr. Manson-Blair and Mr. Hyde-Lay and to Mr. Nash, who helped coach us before we left for Ontario. To each one of you, the team offers a huge thank-you.

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