Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Gearing Up For Regionals

Its that time of year again. Our recreation coordinator dropped by the school yesterday to drop off registration forms for Regionals. The lead up to Regionals is one of my favorite times of the year but also one of my busiest. Our school should have at least 4 soccer teams this year: Nick will coach 16-and-under boys, Monty hopes to do 18-and-under girls and yours truly will be taking a 14-and-under girls and 14-and-under boys team. Plans are also in the works to have a badminton player or two and a boys hockey team later on this winter.

This year is also Territorials, so the various regional winning teams will participate here with the winning teams heading off to Yellowknife in March for the Arctic Winter Games.

I've blogged before about the challenges of coaching sports teams in the North. I wish all our athletes well though I will admit I am a bit partial to my 14-and-under players. I've coached many of these kids for over 2 years now and would dearly love to see them reach the next level by winning Regionals and getting to Territorials. (There are no Territorials for the 13-and-under division.) We definitely expect some great competition this year. I have a feeling that 14-and-under will be the most competitive of the age divisions. There are a lot of talented teams. I haven't made too many changes to the roster of last year's gold-medal 13-and-under squad and feel confident we have the best possible team that could be put together. It's very satisfying to see how far they have come and how their skill-level has developed. Our 14-and-under girls teams is one to watch. For the first time in 3 years, we will actually have enough 13- and 14-yr olds to make a full team rather than having to top up our team with a few 12-year olds and play in a 15-and-under division as happened last year. The girls had a good challenge against the bigger schools but it made for a few mismatches.

Win or lose, tournament time is always a blast and I love being able to work with such a fantastic group of kids.