Glenlyon Norfolk School has had a soccer year for the ages, winning virtually every senior-level championship and title that lay in its path since last fall.
The 2009-10 freight train known as the GNS soccer Gryphons started rolling last November when the senior boys team downed Parkland Secondary in the Colonist Cup final to win the city crown. It was all the more compelling since GNS, with 700 students, is in the Single-A category and Parkland is in the Triple-A division for larger schools.
The number of students in Grade 11 and 12 determines a schools size rating in various sports in soccer and some other sports, schools with 80 or fewer boys or 80 or fewer girls in those grades are Single-A, 81-225 students puts a school in Double-A and 226-plus is Triple-A.
The final piece of soccer hardware for GNS was earned this past weekend when the senior girls topped North Island Secondary from Port McNeill 3-0 in the B.C. Single-A championship held in Abbotsford.
It was a comprehensive win, said Hugh Williams, soccer director at GNS and coach of both senior teams. It was a wonderful way to end whats been quite year.
He said both senior girls and boys won an unusual double, bringing home both city and provincial titles.
Its a rare occurrence, for sure.
Williams said one of the key for developing strong teams at GNS is the fact he is able to oversee the entire soccer program from Grade 4-12.
The advantage our kids have is that theyve played together so long in the same system, so in many ways both teams triumphs were representative of years and years of being able to play together in a variety of pressure situations, competitive situations.
Larger schools dont bother the players, he said.
Thats absolutely one of the main tenets of the program, going after the big guns and learning from it if you dont succeed and obviously getting more confidence when you do.
One feather in the girls teams cap was knocking off eventual Triple-A provincial champion Claremont in the semifinals to win the city championship, known as the Ryan Cup, last month.
Looking down the road, the Gryphons look to be strong again. The boys have won the Single-A B.C.s every other year since 2005, while the girls have a variety of ages on their team and a big bunch of returnees.
Its totally balanced, Williams said of the girls roster. We have four 12s, four 11s, four 10s, two nines and five 8s.
The B.C. title for the girls was their first since 2005, when none of the current group was playing.
So the win was really sweet for them, Williams said.
GNS has even more talent brewing with its own soccer school, opened for its students in 2009.
Its all about growing our own talent at GNS, Williams said.
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