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North Bay Soccer Team Makes Headlines After Provincial Success

posted Jun 10, 2013, 8:48 AM by Jarrod Copland
The Chippewa High School Special Olympics Soccer Team made headlines in the North Bay Nugget recently after winning a silver medal at the 4 Corners Provincial Soccer Championships.

Chippewa Special Olympic soccer team wins silver 4

By JENNIFER HAMILTON-MCCHARLES, The Nugget

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 7:17:58 EDT PM

JJ Stickland and David Williams are still basking in the glory of their recent silver medal win at the provincial Special Olympics soccer championships in Toronto last week.

They were all smiles when they spoke about their experiences to The Nugget Wednesday morning at Chippewa Secondary School.

Wearing their red and white soccer jerseys and medals they reminisced about the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to represent their high school and city.

“It's pretty awesome that we almost won, but we still got second place,” David said. “We tried our best, but there's always next year.”

Some of the players, like David, are still enjoying the adrenaline rush of coming home with some hardware.

“I did bring the medal to school after we won and I kept it around my neck, but I keep it on the dresser with all of my other keepsakes,” he said.

He also said he often finds himself humming “We are the Champions” by Queen.

Their road to the provincials took a lot of hard work and dedication.

The boys practised twice a week for more than a month, as well, had to keep up with their studies.

But their determination paid off.

The team claimed gold at the regional qualifiers held in North Bay in February, which earned them a spot at the Special Olympics provincial soccer championships.

They played five games to make it to the gold medal round.

JJ said it was a tough loss.

“Those Heydon Park girls from Toronto were feisty,” he said.

JJ and Jonathan Touw also didn't mind wearing the red and representing Chippewa even though they both attend Widdifield Secondary School.

The Chippewa Special Olympics soccer team didn't have enough players to form a team so they went to Widdifield to recruit.

“It meant a lot to be part of this team,” JJ said. “I meet a lot of new friends.”

Head coach Bill Smith said the players came a long way, they practised hard and represented the school and city very well.

He said the team had so many milestones and improved on their field play.

“They're starting to pass the ball just like a real team. Before we had some ball hogs, but now they're moving the ball around a lot more,” Smith said.

“Maybe next year we can work on our conditioning.”

Smith said the Chippewa team was among the youngest teams at the provincials. The majority of games were played against teams comprised of Grade 11 and 12 students.

“It was a great building year for us,” Smith said.

j.hamilton-mccharles@sunmedia.ca



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