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Squamish dominates Ya Yas' tourney

Mother Nature provided fine weather and 20 teams provided some lovely football (soccer to the Philistines) at last weekend's Xenichen Ya Yas' seven-a-side tournament.

Mother Nature provided fine weather and 20 teams provided some lovely football (soccer to the Philistines) at last weekend's Xenichen Ya Yas' seven-a-side tournament.

The women's team from Squamish gave notice that they were a force in their first game as they decimated a Blazer's pickup team with their experience and skill.

Ya Yas started with a sound win and looked to be a strong challenger. CAL'S Crushers played their usual style of a short passing game that is ideal for this kind of tournament.

A group of Chatelech 2004 grads entered a team. They showed potential but missed the benefit of playing together prior to this event. Even so, their two wins and two losses were respectable. Crushers made it to the semifinal but Squamish was too much, while the Sliammon team edged the Seabirds to enter the final.

The final was no contest as Squamish continued to roll as they gave the Seabirds a lesson. Smooth passing and a dominant midfield showed how the game should be played.

Former Sechelt resident Angie Muir moved the ball around and was a constant threat. Muir made it easy for her midfield partner to be MVP for the tournament as she scored 19 goals and was the tallest and strongest player on the women's side of the event.

Squamish was also a power on the men's side but had a tendency to be a little casual at times and it cost them as the Peelers' (Steve Peels' local side) dropped them in a semifinal shootout. Another local team, Bunny United, also won a shootout semifinal match to provide a strong local interest in the final. And what a final it was.

United got an outstanding game and tournament from Matt Spence and showed their skill in flashes.

Peelers did not have a dominant player as they played the game the way it was meant to be played - short and simple.The final game was a delight to watch as the Peelers won 8-5.

Great entertainment, an enjoyable environment, and it was free!

Farewell GaryA temporary void has appeared in our community and it will increase in size in the near future.

Gary Pennington, wife Di and son Nick are destined for Australia.

Di originated in Australia and has returned to finish her university degree in education. Nick is a growing 15-year-old and he went "down under" with his mom. Gary is staying here until their home is sold and he will join them then. Fortunately the Penningtons bought a new house in Roberts Creek and will return when Di has finished her degree.

Gary is that young fellow you have seen moderating programs on the community cable channel. However, his major influence has been in local sports and recreation. Gary is a talented second baseman and really loves his baseball. He plays for a rep team and travels to various tournaments throughout North America each summer.

You will also have heard of him through this column, as coach of the U14 boys Strikers rep soccer team.

Gary and Di have really built a family within the team as they have involved players and families in the soccer environment. Gary also coached the Elphinstone Secondary School Grade 8 basketball team last year. Word from Australia is that Nick is in school, has made friends and is right back into soccer (a fellow who has his priorities right).

He is playing with the Adelaide Comets and scored the winning goal recently in a 2-1 game against Noralunga - don't you just love those names? So now the world is seeing the soccer skills we are producing on the Sunshine Coast. Gary will be seeing Di and Nick soon and we send our best wishes. As mentioned before, they will be missed, but we can look forward to them returning in a couple of years.

Only 10 days to register for youth soccer and take advantage of the sign-up discount. Why wait? Fill out your application at