Athletics Review: November 7, 2011

Rowing
Thirty-nine athletes and six coaches experienced another successful city championships! There was a good turn-out of parents, too, and I think that they enjoyed the event. Over two days and 16 hours of racing we endured chilly temperatures but enjoyed some sunshine too. We entered 13 out of the 22 events and competed against 18 other high schools, making 10 finals.

To the coaching staff, Richard Curry, Sarah Aylard, Christine Roper, Ruby Walser and Brett Malcolm, thank you! To all the rowers stand up and take a bow! You are awesome! Congratulations! VIVAT!
Mrs. Walker Curry

Overall, we had the following set of results from the finals:

Event

Result

Senior Novice Girls 4X

1st

Senior Novice Boys 8+

1st

Senior Novice Boys 4X

1st

Junior Boys 4X

1st

Junior Boys 2X

1st and 5th

Junior C Boys 4X

2nd

Junior Novice Girls 8+

3rd

Junior Novice Boys 8+

4th

Junior Novice Girls 4X

5th

Senior Girls 4X

DNQ

Senior Girls 2X

DNQ

Junior Novice Boys 4x

DNQ

Senior Boys 2x

Exhibition entry

Junior Boys Soccer
Returning only one player from the 2010 Island champions, this year’s Junior boys soccer team exceeded all expectations in winning the title for a second consecutive year.

In a wonderful tournament, played in crisp and cold conditions in Campbell River, the team placed first in its pool before exacting a measure of revenge for a city semi-final shootout loss by beating cross-town rival Reynolds 1-0 in the final.

SMUS opened pool play in the Islands with a thrilling encounter against Carihi. An even and scoreless first half set the stage for a nerve-wracking second stanza, with the host Tyees carrying the play and nearly scoring on two occasions. However, as is so often the case, a late breakout, capped by a superb left foot finish by Max Gaejthe, saw SMUS squeak home 1-0.

A second pool game, later in the day, was nowhere near as tense, with an early goal from tournament MVP Michael Baart settling nerves before two secondhalf markers, by Borja Lopez and Ryan Cui, gave SMUS an insurmountable three goal lead. The Bays did claw one goal back late in the contest, but the 3-1 final was a fair reflection on the run of play.

Most importantly, the win ensured that SMUS finished first in its pool, regardless of the result of its opening Day 2 match against Kwalikum. Being able to rest key players and give others more experience proved invaluable, despite a 2-1 defeat. Baart tallied again for SMUS.

And so on to the final. Kudos to Reynolds, made up of an equally unfancied group of players under the tutelage of coach Dave Ravenhill. The Roadrunners had displayed impressive form, winning their three Island pool matches and not conceding a goal in the process. That the final meant a great deal to them was obvious, given the fact not one but two of their players took the field with broken arms casted and then heavily wrapped in protective foam.

The thrilling match had a little bit of everything, starting with SMUS midfielder Alex Carrion whizzing a shot inches by the left post after only thirty seconds of play. Keeper Bryce Fenton then robbed the Reynolds striker from in close after a defensive error, while Jose Basave had his 30-meter strike turned round the post in spectacular style by the opposition keeper.

The SMUS breakthrough came in the 16th minute, with Gaethje again finishing in clinical fashion given a half chance at the top of the box.

The second half was nervy indeed, with scoring chances at both ends. Baart was inches from heading in a beautifully weighted Carrion cross, and then, with six minutes to play, missed a relative sitter on a rebound with the net empty. Reynolds had chances as well, with one close range header tipped over the bar by Fenton.

Finally, with Reynolds still pressing hard for the equalizer, the referee blew for full time, and SMUS claimed the prize.

Coaches Wes Barrett and Jeff Taylor should be commended for their work in moulding together such a young group. Indeed, the 17-man squad featured 11 Grade 9 players!

Of the players in the Islands, centre backs Graeme Hyde-Lay and Michelangelo Cernucan held firm throughout, and, along with Fenton, had the distinction of playing every minute of the four matches. Midfielder Kieran Large ran miles and controlled play in midfield, while others, such as Cui, Owen Sudul, Jason Scully, and Simon Gray, put in big performances under pressure.

Congratulations to all.

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