U17 boys add gold medal to undefeated season
Lief Hvenegaard of the Camrose Vikings U17 boys pursues the ball in a gold medal game against Vermillion in Rudy Swanson Park in Camrose on Sunday. Leah Simonot/Camrose Canadian
The Camrose Vikings U17 boys topped off an undefeated season with a gold-medal run at the Alberta Soccer Association championships.
Seth Misiak scored three goals in their 5-1 championship victory over Vermilion at Rudy Swanson Park on Sunday.
Misiak was the team’s lead scorer over weekend. He wracked up six in a 13-0 win over Devon on Saturday, and three against Sherwood Park in a 7-0 win Friday. He said nothing would have happened without his team behind him.
“Everything worked well. I mean mainly the coach’s lines and everything were great and I liked them a lot … I’m happy we won.”
Misiak saw the team’s grouping really come together as they faced Vermilion, whom they beat 2-1 in the Camrose Night Classic last month. They also had a strong attack, with Misiak and Cody Bell ranking as the top two scorers in the Central Alberta Soccer Association, with 13 and 12 goals, respectively.
Misiak said concentrating on their game plan was key to performing well.
“Don’t focus on the other team, don’t focus on any other game, just listen to the coach and keep my head up,” he told himself.
Erik Bouck went all-in for the provincial title he has been eyeing since U12.
“I mean, you can’t let up when you’re up one, up two, up three, whatever,” he said. “Just keep going.”
Bouck was the team’s second highest scorer, netting one goal against Vermilion and Sherwood Park and two goals against Devon and Didsbury for a total of six.
He spoke positively about the team’s defence and quick counter-attacks and sees the victory as an ideal send-off into U19.
“We played as a team and we just had fun,” he said.
Head coach Gil Bridger said integrating those players who will step up from U15 will help them defend their title next year. Bridger has coached most of the U17 team since they were six years old and says the group knows how to keep their head in the game, relax and play
“We keep our whole shape out on the field … and everything goes fine,” said Bridger.
“Provincials this weekend, it’s what they deserved. They worked hard all season for me and they listened to me and what I’ve told them, on most occasions, and then it all came to fruition here when we won gold.”
Bridger said they met very good competition over the weekend but arrived fit to take them on after an encouraging season.
“It was nice after playing league to come and meet the best of the best within Alberta level … it’s good to see all these different teams come here and us being able to compete against them to prove how good we are as the Camrose Vikings U17 boys,” he said. “We’re undefeated, so we brought that into this tournament this weekend and it worked for us.”
Stettler took home the bronze medal in a 4-1 win over Sherwood Park.