Key game next week against Fundy
The stakes are getting higher for the CC Riders under-16 Tier 2A girls’ soccer team.
Members of the CC Riders girls soccer team include, front row from left, Erica Robertson and Bailee Oderkirk. Second row, Kaylee Boyle, Karlee Burgess, Ashley Higgins and manager Ally Burgess. SUBMITTED
The Riders (11-2) won an important playoff game earlier this week against North Nova (Pictou) to advance to next Thursday’s Highland District Soccer League final against Fundy (Amherst).
Game time is 6 p.m. at the King Street Field in Truro and the winner advances to the eight-team provincial championship Aug. 31 to Sept. 1 in New Minas.
Craig Burgess coaches the Riders with Tim Macumber serving as his assistant.
“The soccer program in Truro and area is very important,” said Burgess. “It keeps lots of kids physically active for the summer.
“I’m really impressed with the number of females still playing after age 11. It’s encouraging to see the numbers and I’m pleased with the volunteer coaches and board members who help the local association.”
Burgess, well-known as a former world and Canadian junior curling champion and for competing in four Briers, has a simple coaching philosophy.
“Play hard, take advantage of the opportunities and minimize the mistakes,” he said. “These girls certainly get a lot of enjoyment out of the game.
“Let’s have fun playing soccer. I want the players to have fun.”
Should the Riders defeat Fundy next week, it will be the fifth consecutive trip to provincials for coach Burgess and several of his players.
Their schedule has included one or two games a week, plus two practices.
“We had a lot of soccer,” said Ashley Higgins, 15, of Onslow Mountain. “Sports have played a big part in my summer.”
Bailee Oderkirk, 16, of Onslow Mountain, is a keeper with the Riders.
“With six kids in our family, sports is a big thing,” said Oderkirk, a Grade 11 student at CEC. “We’re pretty much going somewhere to play sports all the time. It never stops but I love being busy and playing soccer and sports.”
Erica Robertson, 15, is another of the many multi-sport athletes on the team, having played soccer, softball, volleyball and basketball at South Colchester Academy.
“Sports tends to keep me really busy and active,” said the Hilden resident. “There are some days I get to school at 8 a.m. and I don’t leave until 9 p.m. at night. That’s because of taking part in practice with three different school teams.”
Karlee Burgess, 14, of Hilden, is a Grade 10 student at South Colchester Academy.
“I’m thinking about the big game we have coming up,” she said. “We have to win that game. We’re all aware that only our league winner gets to go to provincials.”
Karlee is Craig’s daughter (her mother Ally is the team manager) and is an avid curler, helping Nova Scotia win junior Atlantics last winter in Newfoundland.
TAGLINE; Lyle Carter’s sports column appears every Saturday in the Truro Daily News. If you have a story idea, contact him at 673-2857.