Stettler, Lacombe experience opposite ends of U16 spectrum

Central Alberta’s representatives in the provincial under-16 boys’ Tier 4 rural soccer championship last weekend in Stettler

Owen Moir (yellow) of Stettler keeps pace with a Three Hills opponent in under-16 boys’ action at RCMP field.

Central Alberta’s representatives in the provincial under-16 boys’ Tier 4 rural soccer championship last weekend in Stettler weren’t on the same page.

Lacombe mined the gold medal with an unbeaten record, while Stettler went 0-4 and placed last in the eight-team tournament.

The young Stettler side went into the provincials with modest expectations — and without “four or five” regulars who were out of town vacationing or absent for other reasons.

“We have a couple of players that are travelling other places with vacations, and a couple of key injuries,” said Stettler coach Mitch Finkbiner.

“It was tough because we were missing a lot of size, and a few of our older players were missing.

“We were able to call up a couple of other guys and they did a good job of filling in and bridging the gap.”

Along with a couple of Camrose additions, the Stettler club called up a pair of hometown players from the under-14 team — Ryan Mielke and James Switenky.

Finkbiner, best known as a former junior B hockey standout, is about to launch a teaching career at Theresetta Catholic School in Castor.

He got a taste of teaching this season with the under-16 soccer team.

It’s been a learning year focused on development.

“It’s the type of thing that’ll pay off, with the younger players,” said Finkbiner, 23. “Probably half our roster is underage, especially with the two players called up. … If we’re able to keep that group together, in two years, that would pay off a lot.

“It’s unfortunate right now, there’s some growing pains, but they’re all working hard, so they’re learning that much more, playing against players who have more experience than them. So it’s a good experience, even if the team success isn’t necessarily there.”

Stettler’s most competitive game was its finale — a 3-2 loss to St. Albert in the seventh-place game Sunday.

In preliminary action, Stettler lost 8-2 to Three Hills on Friday and 7-1 to Whitecourt and 10-0 to the Vermilion Strikers on Saturday.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Lacombe was a juggernaut, capped by a 5-2 victory over Whitecourt in the gold-medal game. In round-robin action, Lacombe tied Wetaskiwin — the bronze-medallist — 1-1, and beat St. Albert 16-0 and NW Peace 10-0.

In the third-place game, Wetaskiwin needed overtime to beat Vermilion 4-3.

Just Posted

UPDATE: 18-year-old Rimbey teen dies in collision

A portion of Highway 53 west of Rimbey is down to one lane while crews investigate

UPDATE – Amber Alert cancelled, Emma O’Keeffe has been found

Six-year-old girl with autism believed abducted at a strip mall in Saskatchewan

Welcome to the 2018-19 school year: Clearview superintendent

Division looks for new ways to connect with families

U.S. congressman issues dire warning to Canada’s NAFTA team: time is running out

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is expected to resume talks with the U.S.

Competition tribunal to hear B.C.-based case on airline food starting in October

The competition commissioner argued Vancouver airport authority had exploited its market position

Seek compromise with U.S. on cannabis at border, lawyers urge Ottawa

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency sent tremors through Canada’s burgeoning cannabis sector

Kim agrees to dismantle main nuke site if US takes steps too

Kim promised to accept international inspectors to monitor the closing of a key missile test site and launch pad and to visit Seoul soon.

Wetaskiwin RCMP looking for missing youth

Police say 12-year-old Treston Minde left his residence on his bike Sept. 17 and hasn’t returned home

North Carolina gov pleads with storm evacuees to be patient

The death toll rose to at least 37 in three states Tuesday, with 27 fatalities in North Carolina.

North and South Korea say they plan to bid for 2032 Olympics

Moon and Kim announced a sweeping set of agreements including a vow to work together to host the Summer Olympics in 2032.

Russia’s reinstatement after doping scandal goes to a vote

The World Anti-Doping Agency is due to vote Thursday Sept. 20, 2018, on possible reinstatement of Russia.

Ontario wins stay on ruling that struck down council-cutting plan

The province had argued the stay was necessary to eliminate uncertainty surrounding the Oct. 22 vote, and the Court of Appeal agreed.

Most Read