For the second straight year, the Prince Rupert Football Club (PRFC) will return from Gitsegukla as Annual May Tournament champions, and they’re dedicating their nail-biting shootout victory to the memory of former player Adam Moore.
PRFC, the area’s senior men’s not-for-profit soccer team, took to the pitch on May 16 and crept into the eight-team tournament final by winning the championship game in penalty kicks versus Kispiox.
“It was a tight, tight game,” said tournament MVP Matt Anderson.
“We actually had three shootouts [in the whole tournament].”
Moore, who played in last year’s tourney was found deceased in his submerged car near Galloway Rapids in January.
After a 2-1 squeaker against the Gitsegukla Tigers (one of three local teams to take part in the host community), PRFC took it to their eventual final opponents, Kispiox and won a decisive 2-0 affair, giving the squad a confidence boost heading into the championship match, knowing they had beaten them before.
The only game they lost was a match against Hazelton and that one, again, needed a shootout to be decided. PRFC lost 2-1.
They defeated teams from the region, and even claimed the title over a team from Saskatchewan, who Anderson said attends every year.
For their efforts, the club will collect $4,000 in prize money and that will go towards the club’s administration fees for travelling and jerseys.
“We donate something at the end of the year [with the money]. Last year we donated it all towards Adam’s funeral,” said Anderson.
This is PRFC’s fourth year of existence after the team formed in 2011. They play during the summer and in indoor leagues when the fall and winter seasons hit.
“Quite a few have returned [from last year]. It’s a pretty good core of guys,” said Anderson.
PRFC collected a number of individual awards to go along with the championship. Mike De Lima, who scored the winning goal in the shootout in the tourney final was a tournament all-star, as was Taylor Baker and Marc Hrehirchek.
The most inspirational player of the tournament was Jurgen Wagner and Dempsey Tsakonas was named the best forward of the tournament.
In celebration of their victory, the club will hold a barbecue with Moore’s father this week and present him with the trophies.
“Up until the tournament we were practicing three nights a week,” said Anderson, who mentioned the club has 20 members with 16 attending the Gitsegukla tournament.
“It’s good, it promotes healthy living, exercise and teamwork.”
“Most of the guys have come through the minor soccer program.”