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Soccer team travels to Dawson City
Traveling for sports competitions part of Northern life

Samantha Stokell
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, May 12, 2011

INUVIK - Despite not raising enough money to travel to Yellowknife for the Super Soccer tournament, Sir Alexander Mackenzie School's soccer team hopes to still get out of town for some competition.

NNSL photo/graphic

Sir Alexander Mackenzie School's soccer team will travel to Dawson City for some games against the school there. Back, from left: coach Andrew Aucoin, Nina Verbonac, Darcie Setzer, Farrell Pope, Connor Sullivan, and coach Nadine Wagner. Front, from left, Danny Kaye, River Ross, Kayleigh Storr, Cody Greenland, Donovan McLeod. Missing from the photo is Peter Rufus. - Samantha Stokell/NNSL photo

The team, made up of nine students all in Grade 6, will travel to Dawson City for several games against students at the Robert Service School May 20 to 23. Although there is no tournament, the students will still get to gain skills by playing in games.

"There is no one sport festival for schools in the Beaufort Delta Education Council," said Nadine Wagner, coach and phys-ed teacher. "This is another chance for them to work on sportsmanship and teamwork."

The team needs to raise $10,000 before the trip, but still have a long way to go. They've sold chocolate bars and have plans for a kick-a-thon and bake sale. Vice-principal and phys-ed teacher Shane Brewster thinks sports provide a great chance for students to travel beyond Inuvik.

"It's an opportunity to expose them to different things in the south, to see new places and new faces," Brewster said. "They get to see there's something other than Inuvik and the North."

A teacher from the Dawson City school contacted the SAMS principal about a team coming down to play. Robert Service's teams also suffer from the same affliction as many schools in the North no nearby teams to play games against.

"It's an opportunity to compete against students that have more experience and play better," Brewster said. "Anytime you play against someone better than you, you become a better player."

The team will travel by plane and stay in the school for the weekend. Player River Ross feels comfortable about the competition and looks forward to actually playing games against other students.

"We're pretty decent," River said. "We've got two good goalies and the rest of the team is pretty good."

According to coach Wagner, the team does well at passing and their shooting is pretty good, too. They will however need to work on positioning and ball control. They practise every Tuesday and if students behave badly in school or have poor attendance, they won't continue to play. Team members are chosen based on those factors and not skill level.

"It's a reward and privilege to play," Wagner said. "If they're not in school or behaving badly, then they don't deserve to play on the team."

Wagner hopes this trip will make up for not travelling to Yellowknife and give the students some in-game experience, beyond the intramurals.

"It's important for them to see what's out there," Wagner said. "If they have a passion for the sport, they could work with that and make it to the high school team."

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