The Fort St. John Kids Arena Field House was a flurry of activity this weekend as 24 teams played 45 games in the Futsal Year End Tournament for U12 to U18.
The tournament started at 4 p.m. on Friday the 20th and lasted until the final championship game at 7 p.m. on Sunday the 22nd.
The competitors in this tournament are a little bit older and a little bit more serious than the previous week’s U8 and U10 playoffs, said tournament director Sigrid Thompson.
“These guys are a bit more serious,” she said. “As of U12 we start having cuts, things are getting far more serious, kids are doing summer camps and kids are doing extra training.”
She said that with house league games, some of the kids were training three to five times a week.
Quinlan Snider is 13, and plays on one of the Northern Strikers teams. He said he’s been playing since he was 4, and wants to play professionally some day. On Saturday afternoon his team had played twice, but Snider was modest. “I haven’t played very good personally,” he said, “But my team is doing ok.”
Thompson said that players like Snider who have grown up with the sport are becoming more common.
“What we’re getting is a lot of very talented young people that are coming up, soccer has always been a part of their lives, they’ve been playing since they were 4, 3, and will continue on playing adult soccer, which expands that league,” she explained.
“And now you’ve got qualified coaches, rather than back in the days when I was coaching when I was like that’s a ball, that’s a net, I think those two are supposed to meet. Now you’ve got people who know what they’re doing, and it’s fantastic, its great for the kids.”
The Urban Systems Yellow team took home top spot in the U16/18 division.
Urban Systems Yellow also took home gold in the U14 Boys group.
In the U14 Girls group, Urban Systems Teal took gold.
NPSCU Orange was the top team in the U12 Boys division.
NPSCU Red took home the gold in the U12 Girls group.