The Kwalikum Secondary School Kondors senior boys soccer team is off to a great start in league play, dispatching the NDSS (Nanaimo District Secondary School) Islanders 4–1 on Tuesday afternoon.
Played under ideal October conditions at the Qualicum Beach recreation fields, the senior Kondors came out flying with three goals in the first half, as Caelan Heeps put two into the back of the net and Daniel Doukakis netted a goal as well.
Blair Stewart capped off the game for the Kondors with their fourth and final goal in the second half.
With only four returning players from last year’s senior team, the Kondors field a lineup made up mostly of Grade 11 players.
KSS head coach Butch Gayton is happy with the product he’s seen on the field and knows what his team is capable of when they are on form.
“We’ve got a young team, if you could call it that,” Gayton said.
“We field a team that has the majority of its roster built around Grade 11s. It’s a younger group of players but this is a very talented squad that has the potential to surprise a lot of teams this year.”
Goalkeeper Nolin Fong was solid in net when tested and with the Kondors holding the Islanders to the one goal, which came in the first half, they’ll look to continue that trend as they head in to their first league tournament this weekend at Carihi in Campbell River.
Coming out of the Thanksgiving long weekend, it’s going to be a battle between the Kondors and the Ballenas Secondary School Whalers as the cross–town rivals square off for their first league meeting of the season (Tuesday, 3:30 p.m. at the Qualicum Beach recreation field behind the civic centre).
The Kondors held a mini three–team round robin last week with both Ballenas and Dover Bay secondary schools, seeing all three teams playing evenly matched games.
Both Ballenas and Dover Bay had stronger numbers when it came to their Grade 12’s but the Kondors managed to hold their own and show they can play with and against the older players.
“We’re very athletic, super athletic,” Gayton said.
“These guys have had the chance to be a part of our soccer academy as well so they’ve learned a few things about the game that’s translated over to the field,” Gayton said.
“Put that together with the work they’ve been putting in with the academy at our school and it’s been a good recipe for them so far and we’re hoping to see that continue again this year and help everyone improve by the end of the season,” Gayton said.
In it’s second year, the Kwalikum Secondary School Soccer Academy had a solid first year as a program and is on schedule to have another great year.
Gayton enjoyed having the academy as a part of the curriculum for students last year and the benefits are showing on the field and in the classroom.
“They’re getting a lot out of it, for sure,” Gayton said.
“All of the kids that are on our teams are in this class and it’s helping them with their game and the schoolwork that goes along with it.”