“You can’t win ‘em all,”
A seriously depleted Prince Rupert Football Club United (PRFC) team made the trek to Terrace in early August for the city’s annual Riverboat Days festival and Vernon Baker summarized the squad’s weekend with a short, but apt, conclusion.
Approximately five regular PRFC members took to the pitch against Smithers, Kitsegas and the Terrace Young Guns and picked up the remaining stragglers from the side of the pitch to fill out the remaining holes in their roster.
Barker was joined by forward Matt Anderson, goalkeeper Simon Ruperto and a few more Rupertites who, despite their lack of numbers due to regulars having to work, attend funerals or be at other engagements, performed quite admirably against some of the tournament’s top opponents.
“We were missing some starters and we were basically trying to hold off until Sunday [Day 3] when everybody was finished their work,” said Barker.
PRFC never made it to the third day after being eliminated in an unlucky draw that saw the team play two straight games on Aug. 1 – the only team having to do so.
“We weren’t equipped to knock out three straight teams, so we were out early,” said the defenceman.
Winning their first game on July 31 against Smithers 3-1, the team then prepared to face the Kitsegas Providers, a second team from Hazelton behind the strong Hazelton Strikers side.
“We had that game in hand. We were winning. We basically had two goals in hand … It was 4-4 when we went to a shooutout [and later lost 5-4],” Barker said.
“We went from one field right to the other and played that [third] game against the Terrace Young Guns. They beat us 3-0. Matt Anderson got injured, Peter Riley got injured, so right there we were down and we had no subs to begin with. It was just bad luck for us.”
Barker and the crew were eliminated after the loss to Terrace and never made it to Sunday, but saw the Smithers squad go far.
“That Smithers team we beat was the strongest team in the tournament. They ended up coming in third because they ran out of steam by the semifinal,” he said.
A team from Saskatchewan won the overall tourney and the Terrace Selects came in second.
“[Our goalkeeper] Simon was awesome. He was spectacular. We had a really strong offensive team and Simon kept us in the game that we shouldn’t have even been in … We were happy, but you can’t win ‘em all,” said the defenceman.
The next action for PRFC will take place during Labour Day weekend in Gitanyow and then they’ll head to the Battle of the Skeena shortly after.
For the Kaien Island Slo-pitch League (KISL), three teams travelled to Terrace from Rupert to take part in the Second Annual MacCarthy Motors Slo-Pitch Tournament, hosted by Terrace Slo-Pitch.
The Kekambas finished the highest out of all North Coast squads. They had two wins and a tie in round robin action, placed first in their division, but lost their first game in the championship round to the Grinders from Haida Gwaii in extra innings.
The Kekambas then beat the Tommy Guns from Kitimat and CK from Terrace, but lost to Smithers’ Prestige.
Grassy Bay had to forfeit a few games and finished near the bottom of the pack and the Rupert Zookeepers finished fourth in consolation.
The Terrace Grim Reapers won through the mercy rule in beating Prestige in a lopsided victory.
Hot August Nites was rained out at the Northwest Regional Airport, but the Terrace Drags Association was able to fit in a few street legal races on the Friday night preceding Sunday and Monday’s points races.