The junior boys’ soccer team from East Three Secondary School will be attending the Super Soccer tournament in Yellowknife May 2-6.
Dwayne Drescher, coach for the 16-and-under team, said the team raised $10,000 through fundraising, trip fees and a donation from MACA in order to be able to attend the tournament.
“The major reason why we’re going is because the team is always there, willing to fundraise, and keeping their grades up as well,” said Drescher. “If they didn’t have the grades, and they didn’t do the fundraising, we would never be able to go down.”
He said raising the funds is difficult because the soccer season is only six to eight weeks long.
“It’s a major fundraising effort for such a short season,” he said. “We did a lot of lunches at the school, lunches left and right!”
He took the team to the Super Soccer tournament last year as well, with most of the members remaining the same this year.
“You can tell that they’ve grown, not just physically but they’re becoming more mature at the same time,” he said. “My big goal for them is to make sure they stay encouraged, and go there for the fun of the game, and cheer each other on, and work on that sportsmanship.”
This year marks Drescher’s second as a teacher and soccer coach at East Three Secondary.
He said he enjoys taking the team to tournaments and he’s happy he can help give them the opportunity.
“I’ve been playing soccer ever since I was able to walk, and just allowing the team in Inuvik to have the opportunity to go down to Yellowknife and compete at that level, it makes me super happy,” he said. “I just want to give them that opportunity, that love of the game.”
He added skill building and practicing communication on the court will be key.
“I’m looking forward to watching them compete and build on their skill levels, and see how much our practices helped them grow in the game,” he said. “Just being able to work and communicate with each other about what types of strategies they can use on the court to their advantage, it’s pretty awesome.”