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L.V. Rogers teams bound for the provincials
Make it two in a row for the L.V. Rogers Bombers.
The boys soccer squad captured its second straight Kootenay High School AA Soccer Championships last week in Creston.
The Bombers outscored its opponents 12-0 over the two game playoff.
The local boys earned a bye into the semifinals thanks to its number one seeding in the six-team tournament.
In the semis, the Bombers battled the David Thompson Lakers of Invermere, beating them 7-0 to advance to the final match against the J. Lloyd Crowe Hawks of Trail.
The final was also an easy win for the Bombers, who shut out their foes 5-0.
LVR will now prepare to travel to the Lower Mainland to participate in the BC High School AA Soccer Championships being held November 18 to 20 at the Burnaby Lake Sports Complex West.
Coach Jamie Spendlove, one of several coaches from the SoccerQuest organization which works with the Bombers, said the key to both victories was simple — ball control.
“They (the opposition) barely touched the ball. I don’t even think they had a shot on goal,” said Spendlove.
“We base our game on possession. We hold the ball really well, it frustrates teams, they can’t get it. We just wait for our opportunities to come.”
Spendlove said the scores could have been even worse, calling the contests “pretty one-sided.”
“Our goalie was pretty bored actually,” he said, adding they even let him take a penalty in the first game.
He credits hard work over the years for the team’s success.
“We developed a good system over the past few years. The boys who are in Grade 11 and 12 now, I’ve been working with since Grade 9. That’s starting to show.”
And the younger players are learning from their veteran teammates, making the Bombers future look even brighter.
With a little more than two weeks to prepare for the provincials, Spendlove said the squad is in good spirits and training hard.
“We have regular training right now, trying to get ourselves game ready.”
The big focus is on improving player fitness. Spendlove said his players have been doing a lot of running to prepare for the tougher competition.
Last year, the Bombers finished in 10th place in the provincials, something the coach would like to see changed this time out.
“I’d like to improve on that and there’s no reason we can’t. Honestly, in the provincials, it all depends what happens in your draw.”
Last year the local boys were in the same draw as the eventual champions, Okanagan/Mission. They also had to play Sentinel which finished fifth in BC.
In order to succeed, Spendlove said some of his key players will have to shine, including captain Ethan Parkins.
“He plays in the centre midfield and he sort of controls the game. We have Ryan Lewis up front, he scores most of our goals... and at the back, another of our Grade 12s Shota Ida — he controls the defence.”
While many of the other teams have yet to be set for the provincials, Spendlove said the Vancouver teams and defending champions Okanagan/Mission are always a challenge.
Girls Field Hockey:
The LVR girl’s field hockey squad is also heading to the provincials — although the squad’s future looked bleak after the local championships.
The squad, which finished first overall in the league, was upset in the Kootenay finals, losing 1-0 to J.L. Crowe on October 23.
That forced LVR into the wild card round, a back door way to get into the Provincial AA Field Hockey Tournament.
The girls had to battle the number two ranked teams from the Fraser Valley (Southridge from Surrey) and the Okanagan (Princess Margaret from Penticton) in order to qualify.
“We played Princess Margaret first. This team has a Grade 12 player from Rossland. This girl scored a goal against us last year in the Provincial Tournament and we ended up in 10th instead of 9th against our arch rival — Rossland,” explained coach Val Gibson.
But history was not going to repeat itself as the locals beat Princess Margaret 2-0.
“We dominated the whole time.”
Hailee Gerun and Jena Wheeldon scored in the victory
LVR’s second game was a similar story as the girls beat Southridge by the identical 2-0 score. This time it was Allie Zondervan and Chiara Chirico scoring for the locals.
But it wasn’t all good news as the squad sustained several injuries. Abbie Bourchier-Willans took a stick to the face and sustained a quad bruise, Jena Wheeldon injured her hand and Emma Gregorich pulled a hip flexor.
The girls now have a week to get ready for the provincial tournament at Ambleside Park in West Vancouver on November 6 to 8.
“We are all super excited and hope to be in the top seven this year. The midfield was amazing and the goalkeeper (Tara Yowek) has kept us in the games all season long. Two shutouts in the wild cards are a good sign,” said the coach.