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Super Soccer for junior, senior players
Trip to Yellowknife not possible without community

Samantha Stokell
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, April 28, 2011

INUVIK - Three Samuel Hearne Secondary School teams will travel to Yellowknife for the territorial showdown known as Super Soccer.

Each year almost 100 teams from across the Northwest Territories compete at the event, which takes place from April 28 to May 1 for junior teams and May 4 to May 8 for senior teams. Samuel Hearne will send a junior boys team, a junior girls team and a senior boys team.

"It's a great chance for the students to get out and meet people and remain active," said coach Matthew Miller. "And hopefully we can take home the banner."

The biggest competition for Inuvik teams are schools from Yellowknife. In recent years, Sir John Franklin High School and St. Patrick High School have claimed titles for the U19 teams. Ecole Allain St. Cyr and William Macdonald Middle School have each won U14 titles.

"They have solid teams and we haven't able to play to win titles," Miller said. "We're at a bit of a disadvantage because they have year-long soccer."

The Samuel Hearne teams practice twice a week and the school has started a lunchtime soccer league for all grades, with games held from Monday to Thursday.

Miller says this is a bit of a building year, as many of the team's older players have left, but the remaining players have greatly helped the younger students.

"Some of our top players could just go to the goal and score, but instead they're setting up goals for the Grade 7 students," Miller said. "It's mixed teams which is really helping us build soccer in our school."

The teams have trained with the running club and their cardio and endurance has increased, giving Miller hope. This will, however, be the junior team's first Super Soccer tournament and first games they've played outside of the lunch league.

Without financial help from the community the teams wouldn't be able to compete in this tournament to gain the experience they need to improve their game. Each team has to raise $10,000 to make it there, almost $1,000 per player.

"The local organizations have been so generous. We would not be going without the support of the community," Miller said. "The players have worked for the money, shoveling for businesses. They've tried not to ask for a hand-out, but it's a lot of work to raise $1,000 per player."

After playing games, the teams will have a chance to meet students from other communities off the field during a dance Saturday night.

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