Left to right: Back Row: Alex Nelson, Chris McElroy, Caleb Sam, Rayn Cook, Darius Jones, Chris Hinton, Mark Taylor Front Row: Josh Bryce, Austin Rutherford, Lukas Dick, Braden Nelson, Michael Maresca. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall

© Copyright – 2017 – Victoria Sports News

Six Victoria area soccer players helped Team BC’s U16 squad earn one of BC’s 67 gold medals during the 2017 North American Indigenous Games in Toronto. The final on Friday, July 21 was a squeaker, 1-0 over Saskatchewan.

Austin Rutherford, Caleb Sam, Lukas Dick, Braden Nelson, Rayn Cook-Thomas and Darius Jones donned Team BC colours and proceeded to help win all three round robin games and then took both elimination games.

During game one of round robin play, BC defeated the Territories 11-nil. Seth Hanuse of Quatsino scored a hat trick, while 15-year-old Rutherford scored one of his own. Also scoring were Kenneth Jolliffe (2g, 1a), Dave Jerod Timothy (2g), William Johnson (1g), James Timothy (1g, 1a) and Anton Zapp (1g, 2a).

James Timothy added two more in game two, while Brady Assu, Hanuse, William Johnson and David Jerod Timothy also added one each to defeat Ontario 7-nil.

Game three saw David Jerod Timothy score twice while Jolliffe and Joshua Rolland added one each for another shutout victory, this time over New York, 4-nil.

During the first elimination game against Alberta, Hanuse, Johnson and Zapp netted once each to give the BC side the 3-nil victory, which got them into the gold-medal game versus Saskatchewan.

It was an emotional game, where two red and one yellow cards were handed out. It was James Timothy who scored to shutout the Saskatchewan side, 1-nil.

BC did not let in a goal during the five-game tourney. Four of the top-10 goal scorers were from Team BC. All games were played at McMaster University.

BC won the medal race with 67g, 58s and 54b for a total of 179, which puts them 13 ahead of Saskatchewan with their 166 and Ontario with 137. BC earned a narrow lead in total golds with 67 to 65 for Saskatchewan.

There were a total of 22 regions competing in the NAIG 2017.

The Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) is expected to be the largest sporting and cultural gathering of Indigenous Peoples in North America. The Toronto 2017 NAIG will host more than 5,000 participants, 2,000 volunteers and countless spectators for 14 sport categories being held within world-class venues located across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), including the Region of Hamilton and Six Nations of the Grand River.

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