The Juan de Fuca gold boys U16 team is headed to provincials after a long break.
Their season ended in February and playoffs took place in early March, but provincials aren’t until July later this month.
Brett Soberg, coach of the U16 team, said after playoffs the team took a few weeks off, but has been practicing twice a week and playing exhibition games to keep them sharp before the championships.
“You have to be somewhat strategic about getting it together,” Soberg said.
The Vancouver teams finished their season in May and the Okanagan and Interior teams finished a week or two before provincials, so the Island team is at a bit of a disadvantage not playing for such a long period of time.
JDF won all but one game this season, and beat the Comox Valley Titans 4-1, to secure the Vancouver Island berth.
Soberg said the team has a lot of depth this season, and he has put his players in different positions throughout the year, so he’s got two or three players to slot in and play any one position.
JDF U16 drew a tough pool for the Provincial B Cup 2018, with Port Coquitlam, Burnaby, and Greater Vancouver teams, and Kelowna, Prince George, Nelson and Terrace on the other side of the draw. It will be round robin style to start and then each pool will battle for turf supremacy.
Soberg said his team made provincials three years ago and placed fifth, winning their first and last games, but this year they’re hoping for a podium finish.
“It’s all about momentum, it really is. They [the JDF team] have the skill to do it,” he said.
The team heads to provincials July 5 to 8 on the mainland.