Right at home: Oak Bay boys eye more soccer success

The Bays inaugurated their new turf field last week with a 3-1 victory over visiting Royal Bay. They are now 2-0 on the 2016 boys’ high school soccer season after Lachlan Kratz scored twice to lead the Bays past Mount Douglas.

“I’m sure people aren’t crying for Oak Bay, but we were vagabonds the past three years [while the new Oak Bay High School and grounds were being constructed],” said Oak Bay boys soccer co-coach Rich Fast, in his 15th season guiding the Bays with Brent Garraway.

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“We’ve used UVic, Hampton, Carnarvon, you name it, as our home fields the past few years. Playing on our new turf pitch is cool. It’s a huge plus for us.”

Not that this successful program needs any more of an advantage. Oak Bay is the defending league, Island and Colonist Cup champion.

“We will again play a skilled, high-tempo game. But it’s going to be tough to repeat all three titles,” said Fast, whose club will host the Reynolds Roadrunners on Thursday at 3:30 p.m.

“It’s a wide-open race.”

So much so that Reynolds and the St. Michaels University School Blue Jags are each deep enough to field ‘A’ and ‘B’ squads among the 16 boys high school soccer teams in Greater Victoria this season.

Glenlyon Norfolk School, St. Andrew’s and Stelly’s are also expected to field contending sides.

Teams are split into Tier I and Tier II divisions. They will further divide into single-A, double-A and triple-A categories, based on school size, when playoffs begin. All teams, however, compete for the Colonist Cup city championship, the final of which will be played Nov. 19 at Centennial Stadium.

“Our goal is to get to the triple-A provincials,” said Mount Douglas head coach Glenn Barker.

His Rams, which began the season with a 2-0 loss to Reynolds and 1-0 victory over Lambrick Park, are an eclectic mix this season and feature exchange students from Germany, Nepal, Mexico and Japan.

FREE KICKS: The single-A provincial championship tournament will be hosted by Southridge Nov. 7-9 in Surrey, while the double-A (Nov. 21-23) and triple-A (Nov. 24-26) provincial tournaments will be hosted by Woodlands and played at Burnaby Lake Sports Complex.

cdheensaw@timescolonist.com

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