Knights looking for final push at zones

Soccer: HTA, Foothills optimistic heading into South Central tourney

By: Remy Greer

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jun 04, 2014 06:00 am

Holy Trinity Academy Knight striker Arnaud Nimenya collides with Foothills Falcons goalie Linton Grant and defender Philip Mattingley earlier this season. Both teams are off to the South Central Zone Championship this week in Cochrane.
Holy Trinity Academy Knight striker Arnaud Nimenya collides with Foothills Falcons goalie Linton Grant and defender Philip Mattingley earlier this season. Both teams are off to the South Central Zone Championship this week in Cochrane.
Jordan Verlage/OWW

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Some Knights from the foothills are on a crusade to end a burgeoning dynasty on the pitch.

The Holy Trinity Academy Knights have been close enough to taste the South Central Zone High School Boys Soccer Championship for two years running only to fall just short to the Canmore Crusaders.

They’re looking to buck the trend at zones this week in Cochrane.

“When we played Canmore the first year it really wasn’t that big of a deal and second year it really ramped up, we really wanted to beat them,” said Knights Grade 12 centre-back David Coderre. “They’re the only team we’ve lost against all three years. It’s been Canmore every season and for zones, same thing.

“If we can beat Canmore, that would be a nice ending point to get first in zones and get a banner.”

Canmore took both regular season meetings in the Foothills Athletic Council, posting a 7-0 pasting over an undermanned Knights club before coming into Okotoks and counterattacking to a 4-1 triumph.

“This year we had eight players the first game it was kind of a waste of a game and then the next game we were also missing players. We did what we could do,” Coderre said. “This year’s group, we haven’t been at many practices, but we don’t need practices. We know what we’re doing, we know our positions, we play each other in club games, on club teams with each other.

“I think we’ve got a great chance of winning this year.”

The two-time defending zone champions haven’t shown many holes in their armour.

After producing a perfect season at 8-0 and conceding only eight goals the crew from the Rockies should prove a difficult mountain to climb in Cochrane.

Canmore head coach Gary Anderson, who knows a thing or two about perfect seasons, said there should be no shortage of contenders for the zone crown noting traditional stiff competition from the Rocky View league.

“You never know. There are always good teams in the other league,” Anderson said. “One of the things is breeding a love of the game of soccer with our boys so that at zone tournament, they look forward to it.”

The Knights and Crusaders are joined by league foe Strathmore in Pool A.

Pool B features the Foothills Falcons, Springbank Phoenix, George McDougall Mustangs and host Cochrane Cobras.

Falcons co-captain Matt Achtymichuk is looking for his team to raise its level for zones as it did a season ago, narrowly missing out on the bronze medal game due to a tie-breaker.

“It’s really what we’ve been striving for the entire season. Last year’s (zones) that was the best we’ve played,” he said. “Overall this season has been up and down, hasn’t been the best season, however we’ve come together a lot as a team and we want to translate that coming together onto the field this coming week.”

Foothills’ senior class, including Achtymichuk, strikers Garrett Young and James Thomas and goalie Linton Grant, have high hopes to close their high school careers signing a positive tune.

“We’ve been with the team all three years so we want to lay it all out there and leave a dynasty behind and something for the guys to look up to next year,” Achtymichuk said. “To just do the best we can, leave it all on the field and make the seniors happy.”

The zones kick-off at 9 a.m. on June 5. The top two teams from each pool advance to the semifinals at 10 a.m. on June 6. The gold and bronze medal games follow at 2 p.m.

All games are at Rangers Field in Cochrane.


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