Sen­tinels aim­ing for gold

Boys team headed to provin­cials; girls aim­ing for re­gional win

The Compass - - SPORTS - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER

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.

Photo by Ni­cholas Mercer/the Com­pass

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.

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