Riverside is having a great season for sports this year. For the first time ever, the junior boys’ soccer team took home the North Fraser Championship Banner on Thursday, November 7, 2019.
The junior boys’ soccer team – made up of grade 9’s and 10’s had a great season this year, according to teacher sponsor Clarence Chee who said it’s been their best season so far. The team carries 20 players, two of whom are goalies. Chee commented that the number of players was one of their greatest strengths. ”We subbed quite a lot. It made the team successful because they could go on and run hard during games.’’ Chee has been sponsoring the team since 2013. The team is coached by the fathers of team members, Braeden Burke and Maddox Colligan.
The team went into the finals of North Zone as the underdog against the top-ranked team Charles Best. But the team players weren’t nervous. ”I would say the kids are even keel; most of the kids believe we could beat the Charles Best team; we’ve beaten them in the past,’’ said Chee. The team’s strategy was simple, keep possession of the ball as much as possible, and play a solid game. Charles Best is one of the best teams in the Tri-Cities. Riverside lost to Charles Best twice during regular season play. Team member Mateo Brazina, who plays the position of striker and winger, commented on the game.”It was crazy; it was such a good game because I thought we all played well in the semi-finals and when we got into the finals, we all knew we had to really work because this would end up being our hardest game. The fact that we won is just awesome!”
The team has a lot of club players which Chee thinks helps the team work together. ”We only have a few that are in the HPL. (HPL is the B.C soccer premier league.) Most are metro club players, but they gel as a group because I think a lot of grade 9’s came up this year who have played in clubs,’’ said Chee. The team also played Burnaby teams for the first time, such as Caribou Hill and Burnaby Central. Because the Fraser Valley district was recently re-zoned to the North Fraser Valley zone. ”We played Burnaby teams in the play-offs; the first team we beat was Caribou Hill, and the second team was Burnaby Central; they’re the second-best team in Burnaby,’’ said Chee. The soccer season is short, only six games. The top four make the playoffs.
Congratulations to the Junior boys on the win and the banner!