To say the Okanagan Mission Huskies have had success since the resurrection of the boys’ soccer program in 2011 would be an understatement.
The Huskies struck gold this week at the B.C. AAA championship in Burnaby, giving the school four provincial medals in just five seasons.
OKM went unbeaten through the tournament with 5-0 record, securing the B.C. title with a 2-0 victory Wednesday over Sa-Hali from Kamloops.
The win avenged a loss to the same Sa-Hali team earlier in the month in the valley final, as OKM used both skill and discipline to ensure a better result.
“(Sa-Hali) isn’t as skilled as us, they played a very physical game at the valleys, our boys got caught up in that and lost their heads a bit,” said Huskies assistant coach Keith Shanks. “But our guys learned from that. (Sa-Hali) tried to be physical again, but we stuck to our game plan. The boys played a strong game in all aspects.”
OKM opened with a 2-1 win over Qualicum, then followed with victories over Brookswood (2-1) Caledonia (4-1), McMath and ulimately, Sa-Hali.
Grade 11 midfielder Sam McDonald was on his game throughout provincials and was named the tournament’s MVP. McDonald also shared the Golden Boot award scoring four goals.
With a 14-1 overall record and a gold medal conclusion, Shanks said the Huskies success was due to the skill and commitment of the players and the leadership of head coach Tony Overton.
“This was a very skilled team, most of the boys had played a high level of club soccer and they really stepped their game up for provincials,” said Shanks who, with Overton, helped get the program running again after more than two decades. “Tony is an exceptional coach, he has a very nice way about him that the boys react well to.”
For OKM captain Spencer Young, this was his third provincial medal. He was on the team when the Huskies won gold in 2012 and silver in 2013.