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More Bonnyville soccer players on the pitch this season

The U15 boys soccer team win gold at the Sherwood Park Classic Tournament this weekend. They defeated Drayton Valley in the finals 2-0 to become champions. Photo submitted: Curtis Conrad.

The footie season is well underway in Bonnyville.

Roughly 370 kids began practices and games earlier this month which shows Bonnyville Soccer Association’s registration numbers are 15 per cent higher than last year.

Club president Jose Teixeira credits the good work of the board and the addition of new jerseys for the increased numbers.

“I think the soccer culture is becoming more popular now in Bonnyville,” said Teixeira.

“We try not to turn kids away from participating in sports, especially in soccer. So even if there’s a player that, you know, wants to register a week after…why would you turn somebody away from it?”

“We all work as a team and everybody’s promoting soccer.”

New soccer uniforms with the player’s names on the back are another added feature this season for the players.

“We kind of went a little bit out of our way and provided brand new soccer outfits to everyone. It’s made by Adidas and Sylvestre’s has been really helpful with us and it’s really sharp,” he said.

Five U5 teams, five U7 teams, six U9 teams, three U11 teams, a U13 girls team and U13 boys team, a U15 girls team and a U15 boys team, a U17 girls team and U17 boys team, and a U19 girls team make up the association.

The U17 boys soccer team competed at the Sherwood Park Classic Tournament this past weekend earning a silver medal. Photo submitted: Curtis Conrad.

The younger age groups are practicing a little differently this year too.

BSA has adopted a “festival” style practice regime where more players get touches on the pitch by moving to different stations.

“You go from coach to coach, and each coach doesn’t stay with the team all the time. But there’s a drill that’s dedicated for a specific station.

“The youth mini coaches directors there, Josh and Laura Phillips, they’ve been doing an amazing job. And I believe that people like that, that really helped the organization to go forward,” said Texeira.

Texiera’s team, the U15 boys, have also made the effort to practice with the U5’s, making teaching and coaching a part of their learning and making older and younger kids feel part of the environment.

“We treat that as a regular practice with our U5’s – the same as any other team,” said Teixeira.

Soccer results

Bonnyville competes in Tier 4 against teams from as far away as Vegreville, Lac La Biche, and Wainwright.

They are hosting the “mini” Wetlands tournament at the Ecole des Beaux Lacs for U7, U9, U11 teams on June 9.

U13 and older teams headed to Sherwood Park last weekend and will play in Camrose for the Night Classic tournament under the lights this weekend.

The U15 boys won gold at the Sherwood Park Classic Tournament. The boys played Sherwood Park Saturday morning and won 12-0 in their first game and beat Hinton 6-2 in their second game.

In the semifinals, they defeated Vermillion 6-0 and then Drayton Valley in the finals 2-0 to become champions.

The U17 boys won the silver at the tournament.

Meanwhile, younger age groups competed in Vermilion.

Lakeland Cup is June 14-16 in Cold Lake and June 21-23 at the new facilities in Vegreville.

One of BSA’s U9 soccer teams on the pitch in Vermilion over the weekend.