Hinton’s U13 boys soccer squad had weather settle its gold medal game June 9 against Ponoka at the Millett tournament.
Organizers called the game with around six minutes remaining due to a nearby lightning storm. Ponoka had just scored moments earlier on a corner kick to give themselves a 1-0 lead. It would prove to be the winner as the field marshal came over and talked to the coaches about what they wanted to do about the approaching storm.
“We had said let’s keep going … and then it just came down on us, it hit us. At that point, because it’s lightning, you’d have to wait for half an hour after it’s all over and we decided to just call it,” said coach Bill McDonald, adding that, based on FIFA rules, the win went to Ponoka.
“Some of the boys were disappointed. You know, could we have come back? Yeah, we could have, but you don’t know how it’s going to go, so we accepted it … settled for silver. The team has won three medals in three tournaments … a gold, a silver and a bronze … they’re doing great.”
The irony is that the final was a rematch of the previous year’s final against Ponoka, which was also called due to weather that included wet snow, rain, high winds and cold temperatures.
“Last year we lost our tent in the wind and it was so cold. We ended up getting a big sheet and the kids were sitting underneath and by the end they didn’t want to come out. We just called the game … it was getting unsafe,” McDonald said.
McDonald said the squad finished round robin play with a couple of wins in what he described as good, competitive games. The squad lost its opening game to Ponoka by a score of 6-1.
“They’re a good team, and I knew it … just looking around at the other teams , that we’d probably be playing them for gold,” McDonald said.
“Heading into the gold medal game the boys were pumped. It was a good game – they played hard.”
The U13 boys squad hit the road for Jasper this coming weekend for games against the host squad (9 am) and Edson 2 (12:30 pm).
It’s been a challenging season for soccer in the West Yellowhead so far, with a late start to the schedule due to weather, as well as the inability to field teams in the U19 division.
Between that late start, scheduling and three weekends of tournaments, there’s been only one home weekend of soccer action. Games return to Hinton this Saturday with the U17 boys taking on Jasper at 9 am and Whitecourt at 3 pm.
Hinton will also host the U15 girls division for Soccerfest over the June 22-23 weekend with a chance to advance to provincials. Game times for that tournament were not yet available, but check back in upcoming issues of The Voice for updates.