Trites hopes hard work leads Cougars to provincial title
Greenfield's Tim Trites has spent the last several years building himself into one of the top goalkeepers in the province in high school soccer. He's hoping it will pay off with a provincial title this weekend in Bridgewater. Matt Veno - Truro Daily News
TRURO - It was a rude awakening for Tim Trites.
As an undersized keeper for an overmatched Highland Knights under-14 squad several years ago, Trites spent most of the summer fishing balls out of his net. The experience made it plain and clear he would have to work to make himself, and his team, more competitive.
"It made me want to push to get better to make those saves and keep my team in it," the 17-year-old Greenfield resident said.
Fast forward to today and the six-foot-one, 160-pounder is preparing to lead his Cobequid Cougars into battle at the NSSAF Division 1 championship at Park View high school in Bridgewater. The Cougars take on the Halifax West Warriors at 2:30 p.m. in a semifinal match. The two-time defending champion Park View Panthers and Riverview Reds will also be vying for a spot in Saturday's 2 p.m. final.
"I would love to win (the provincial title)," Trites said. "It would just be great to have that symbol that hard work does pay off."
It's been a long road to become one of the top keepers in the province at the high school level. Trites works on fine-tuning his game nearly every day, either with his team or on his own.
It's translated into Trites becoming an anchor at the back for the Cougars, who finished atop the Northumberland region this season at 4-0 before taking the regional crown in a two-game, aggregate series with the Dr. John Hugh Gillis Royals. Trites has allowed just four goals in the Cougars' 14 games overall this season and was his solid self in Cobequid's 4-1 win over the Citadel Phoenix in their provincial qualifier last week on home turf.
Jay Foster, who coached Trites back in his days as a Knight, sees first hand just how the keeper has changed. Trites' desire to win and push his teammates to be at their best is plainly obvious and he's taken a leadership role with the Cougars to help make it happen. That's meant transforming himself in more than just the physical aspect of the game.
"Being a keeper is so much more than stopping shots," Foster said. "You have to organize the defence, be loud and bossy and sometimes critical of your teammates and that doesn't come naturally to Tim and it's something he's had to work on."
But taking on a leadership role is something he enjoys. He's watched for the past two fall seasons as senior players have led him. Now he's seizing the opportunity to give back and has taken rookie keeper Andreas Foerster under his wing.
"He's been an excellent mentor and they have an excellent relationship," Foster said.
But who better to learn from than an outstanding keeper who also happens to perform just as well in the classroom, holding a mid-90s average while also playing junior varsity basketball and badminton for the Cougars,
"He's a real community guy," Foster said. "He's involved with his church and always gives himself. He's never negative."