New youth soccer league embraced by Vancouver Island

A new soccer league for U14 and U15 boys and girls is being embraced by the players and parents.

A new soccer league for U14 and U15 boys and girls is being embraced by the players and parents.

Just three weeks into its inaugural campaign, the Vancouver Island Premier League, comprised of around six teams in each division, from one end of the rock to the other, has already established a solid foothold.

According to Oceanside Youth Soccer president Dave Reynolds, the VIPL “is a Vancouver Island initiative,” a joint effort between the top three Victoria Clubs (their ‘gold’ league teams) and a regional team comprised of players from Ladysmith to Port including Oceanside, and another regional team of players from Courtenay, Campbell River and Powell River.

“Essentially were calling it a Tier 2 league… it’s to give the kids an option other than house — it’s an alternative to Metro that allows them to stay on the Island,” Reynolds explained when asked why the change. “We decided this is a better route to go,” said the eight year OYS executive, adding “a lot less travel and they still get to play good calibre of soccer with the Victoria clubs.”

Reynolds said what cleared the way for the VIPL was when Victoria’s top clubs committed to the league and to coming up Island to play.

The decision passed unanimously when voted on by all the upper Island clubs.

The mid-Island teams are all known as the VIPL Storm, and the upper-Island teams are the Riptide.

The U14 Storm Boys team lost their league opener to the Saanich Fusion two weekends ago in Nanaimo and the U14 Girls Storm beat the Victoria Bays 5-1 at Serauxman Stadium in Nanaimo that same weekend.

The U15 Boys Storm made their home debut two weeks ago, a 3-1 loss to the Bays and were back it at QB Rec Fields last Sunday in a hard-fought loss to Saanich. The U15 Girls Storm, coached by longtime local high school coach Larry Steffanek, were shut out in their first game to Peninsula and dropped a 4-2 final to the Bays last Sunday in Nanaimo.

Each team plays between 12-15 league games plus exhibition games. Their season culminates with playoffs in April.

“They’re really liking it,” Reynolds, and assistant coach with the U14 Boys, said when asked how the new league is being received. “It’s very well run, very well organized and they’re happy they don’t have to leave the Island to play some really good competition.”

It is, said local VIPL rep and U14 Storm Girls assistant coach John Lee, “the way of the future.”

The U14 Girls team pencils in seven local U13 Girls who are playing up; there are two Oceanside players on the U14 Boys, four locals on the U15 Boys team, and four on the U15 Girls.

“It’s going to be very much a learning year for the players,” he said, “as we have many that are playing up in age group.”

“This is a pilot project for the first year,” he added, pointing out “it’s not a full blown every age group yet, we’re trying to work the bugs out. It’s the first time we’ve actually had an official youth soccer league that includes both the lower and upper Island soccer associations, so it’s a positive step forward that’s for sure.”

The plan is to expand the VIPL next year he said to include U14s right up through U18.

 

GAME ON

The U14 Boys Storm take on the Riptide in Powell RIver on Sunday. The U14 Girls play the Riptide in Comox. The U15 Boys and Girls teams both have a bye. The teams are off Thanksgiving weekend, the U14 Girls Storm are in action at QB Rec Fields Saturday, Oct. 15 at high noon against the Fusion, and the U14 Boys are in QB on Sunday against the Bays.

Just Posted

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased in Parksville

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Map of the site of a proposed 60-unit building project in French Creek. (RDN map)
Legal counsel wants board to award development permit for French Creek project

Issue is on agenda for RDN board meeting on June 22

The Arrowsmith Search and Rescue Society has outgrown its home at the Coombs-Hilliers Fire Department and will soon move to its new operations hall at the Qualicum Beach Airport. (PQB News file photo)
Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Most Read