Sentinels aiming for gold
Boys team headed to provincials; girls aiming for regional win
Playing for a AAA boys’ provincial soccer title is exactly where the Carbonear Collegiate Sentinels boy’s team thought they would be after winning the regional qualifying tournament on Monday, Sept. 28.
The tournament, hosted by Carbonear, saw the hometown Sentinels facing off with the Laval Cavaliers for the right to go to the provincial tournament, to be held in Marystown, Oct. 14-16.
The Sentinels blanked Laval 5-0 in the final match.
“I expected the boys to do what they did,” said Sentinels coach Don Coombs.
It is nothing against the other teams who competed in the tournament, said Coombs, but the boys on the Sentinels side have more than 30 games in this season.
The other teams “ have not played in the calibre of soccer” as the Sentinel boys have, said Coombs.
The majority of players on the squad, have been playing together for close to a decade.
It is one of the reasons behind Coombs’ lofty proclamation that his team is the best he’s ever seen from Carbonear Collegiate, or anywhere else.
“ This team is the strongest team to ever come out of the bay.”
The team began training for this season in May, and did not ease up as the summer drew to a close.
Coombs said the boys are still playing in the intermediate soccer league in St. John’s — they’re playing “against men.”
“ They’ve played everyone in the province,” he said.
When the team enters the provincial tournament, which also features teams from St. Lawrence, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Stephenville and St. John’s, it will be peaking at the right time.
“ The boys are playing at a high, high level.”
Coombs is expecting the team to perform well at the tournament, and improve on last year’s performance.
The Sentinels lost just one game in the regular reason and faltered in the semi-finals, losing by a lone goal.
Coombs said he expects St. Lawrence team to be one of the tougher challenges for Carbonear Collegiate.
“If the boys play to their potential, they’ll be competitive and they won’t be intimidated. If they put it together that weekend, they’ll win.”
The girls draw
Heading into their regional tournament, the girls’ team has not had as much game experience as the boys’ side.
But, that has not dampened the spirits of coach Coombs.
He still sees a team capable of competing with the best in the region.
While the boys’ side featured a clear-cut favourite to win the championship, the girls’ side features no such favourite. It is wide-open.
Other schools in the region pulling for a berth in the provincial final are Laval, Roncalli, Ascension Collegiate and Crescent Collegiate.
The keys to winning rely is the players’ ability to stick to a system, said Coombs.
“It’s like hockey, it’s about knowing your role, playing position and not running around the field.”
With the keys to victory laid out before them, Coombs wants his players to remember to “ have fun” while playing.
The girls’ tournament was scheduled to run Sept. 29 to Oct. 2.
WORDS OF WISDOM — Coach Don Coombs may look like he his berating his players at a AAA regional girls’ soccer match on Thursday, Sept 29, but he merely is giving instruction to his squad.