The South Cariboo Minor Soccer Association (SCMSA) capped off a successful season with an equally successful tournament in Ashcroft this past weekend, which brought together the league’s 26 teams in U7, U10, U13, and U16 divisions.
“It was a really great year,” says association president Lee Hand. “We had more kids this year than last, the association is growing, and everyone had fun.” The SCMSA is up three teams in each division since three years ago, and this past season more than 250 players in the league.
She admits that there were a few hiccups early in the season, but that everything went smoothly after that. Five new team sponsors—Dairy Queen, Second Time Round, Interior Savings Credit Union, J.D. Flagging, and the Cache Creek Veterinary Clinic—came on board, and Hand says that the association is always looking for new businesses or organizations to sponsor teams.
Last weekend’s tournament was the second of the season; an invitational tournament on the Mother’s Day long weekend attracted more teams than before, with eight teams from outside the SCMSA—which has teams in Ashcroft, Cache Creek, Clinton, Lillooet, and Logan Lake, as well as players from Lytton—taking part. Two teams from Lillooet and one from Ashcroft also took part in the Clearwater Youth Soccer Footy Festival earlier in June.
Hand is convinced the SCMSA will build on this year’s success. “We’re very optimistic that we’ll get bigger next year. We’ve pretty much run out of room, and need more soccer space. For both tournaments we had to build another soccer pitch in the lower field by painting lines on the ground and borrowing portable nets from the school. However, it worked really well.”
Last weekend’s tournament was a round robin event where every team got to play several games. “It was a fantastic two days,” says Hand. In the U10 division, Lillooet 2 placed first, with Subway and Lillooet 1 in second and third respectively. Logan Lake 1 topped the U13 division, followed by Lillooet 2 and Interior Savings, while the River Inn finished first in U16 play, followed by CUPE and Lillooet.
When the dust had settled on the league standings, Subway finished first in U10, with Lillooet 1 in second and Lillooet 2 in third. Lillooet 2 came first in U13 play, followed by Interior Savings and Logan Lake 2. Lillooet took the U16 title, followed by the River Inn and CUPE.
Hand is looking forward to an even better season next year. “It’s an exciting thing to do. We do it for the kids, and the enjoyment we see on their faces is the reward. The year-end wrap-up is always enjoyed; it’s just a good time.
“The smiles on their faces makes it worth it.”