Coming off of a gold medal win at the Three Blind Ref tournament in Kalispell, Montana, the Columbia Valley U18 boys soccer team head coach is extremely proud of his players.
“I thought the team performed excellently, I was very impressed with them,” said head coach Ian Knuckey. “To be honest, I value [sportsmanship] more than I value a gold medal.”
Competing against teams from the U.S. and Calgary during their latest tournament, the boys put on a strong showing en route to a 3-1 record, good enough to claim them the gold.
Knuckey has been coaching the team for the past five years, and said he initially got involved with the team when his eldest son began to play, and eventually took the reins as head coach. Knuckey said he wasn’t sure how his team would perform at the Montana tournament as they had no idea who the other teams were. While the team’s performance secured them top place, Knuckey said that scoring a few more goals is always nice. He also noted his team’s proficiency at the offside trap, which is the practice of drawing another team’s forwards out of position in order to gain possession for the initiating team.
“We consistently get compliments from the referees on our (offside trapping) ability,” Knuckey said, “and contrarily, frustration from other teams.”
The team then participated in the provincial playdowns this past weekend in Cranbrook for a chance to go to provincial championships; however, both the U18 and U15 teams came up short in a trio of games.