Academics and attendance leave senior players behind
On the one hand, the East Three Secondary School junior boys won the Tier 2 division at the Super Soccer tournament in Yellowknife last weekend, taking home a banner for the school.
On the other hand, senior representatives from East Three were fewer than hoped, as less than satisfactory academics and attendance held players behind.
“Getting the banner was a great feeling of accomplishment,” said Joshua Dekwant, one of the players on the junior boys team.
“It was very fun. It was very challenging with all the other teams because we were the youngest team there.”
Teammate Jacob Israel said the 10 seconds before the final game ended were thrilling.
Deeron Vittrekwa, the team’s coach along with Dwayne Drescher, said the tournament was dedicated to Bradley Charlie, a former student and teacher’s assistant at East Three Secondary School who died unexpectedly earlier this year.
“Bringing something back is good for this community and the team,” said Vittrekwa, referring to the banner. “He was their teacher’s assistant.”
The boys won the final game 2-0, with both goals coming from Jacob Lennie-Blake.
“They were nervous, but as a coach you try to keep it down, you try to make it calm out there,” said Vittrekwa. “You have to get them motivated in a good way.”
Three teams from Inuvik attended: the junior boys, junior girls and a senior co-ed team, but the seniors included players from Fort McPherson and Ndilo.
“On the whole, I thought the weekend went very well,” said Colin Pybus, coach of the senior co-ed team. “I was very proud and impressed with the three teams that East Three Secondary School sent down, just their effort, their sportspersonship and the quality of play. I felt they represented the school and the community very well.”
He and Matthew Miller coached the co-ed seniors team. It was made slightly more challenging as some players were held back because of unsatisfactory academics or attendance, meaning the team had to scramble to find substitutes from Fort McPherson and Ndilo.
The team had to figure out how to play with each other about 30 minutes after meeting off the plane.
“I feel we do have enough athletes in the school to have a full soccer team from here; however, academics does play a part,” said Pybus. “This is a school student athlete based team, and if students aren’t pulling their weight in the academics or attendance, then they’re ineligible to travel.”
Despite those challenges, the team came together and was even awarded Most Outstanding Team in its division.
Kolbi Bernhardt, who played on the senior co-ed team, said communication was hard at first since the players barely knew each other.
“Towards the end, we started getting to know each other more and how we played,” she said.
She was happy with her team’s performance.