Revelstoke Secondary School’s boy’s soccer team will advance to the 2022 B.C. School Sports (BCSS) ‘A’ Provincial Championship following Tuesday’s home-game victory over Kelowna’s Aberdeen Hall.
The 2022 BCSS Provincial Championship takes place November 2 to 4 at Burnaby Lake West in Burnaby, B.C. The team will play two games per day over the three-day event.
The team, nicknamed the RSS Soccer Avalanche, is somewhat of an underdog compared to other teams in the league, says Head Coach Andrew Sykes. The RSS team starts fresh, with a new crop of players every year. Coach Sykes says the team needs to gel very quickly to be successful, and that’s exactly what this year’s players did.
“The team chemistry is incredible and effective; it is like having an extra player on the field,” explains Sykes.
Rival teams in Kamloops and Kelowna have more extensive facilities enabling students to practice year-round and have high-performance leagues to draw from, something that Revelstoke is limited in due to distance.
RSS also faces private schools with more flexibility in recruiting than public schools.
At the Valley Championships in Kamloops last week, the team lost some hard-fought games to private schools that offer scholarships to players to come to play for the team.
Nevertheless, Coach Sykes says the team’s inspired performance in defeating fellow rural public schools from Osoyoos and Clearwater and narrowly losing to two Kelowna-based teams helped them finish in fourth place at Valleys. On Tuesday, the final ‘challenge match’ against Aberdeen Hall sent them to the provincial championships.
“The season was in a word intense, the learning curve, steep,” says coach Sykes. “I presented the season as a journey rather than a destination, that team sports is a great character builder.”
He says the team’s camaraderie and response to very tough games have really helped them develop the grit they showed in the recent Valley Championships tournament.
Coach Sykes notes that in all the years he has coached soccer in Revelstoke, this 2022 team is the perfect storm of skill, desire, and team spirit to be fierce competitors at the annual provincial championship tournament.
The team is looking for volunteers to help players get to the Provincial Tournament and donations to help the team defer travel costs. To help, the team suggests calling Revelstoke Secondary School at (250) 837-2173.