With an Independent Schools Association title, Colonist Cup crown and Island championship firmly tucked in their back pockets, the St. Michaels University School Blue Jags go in search of their final and toughest summit of the 2014 senior boys’ soccer season.
Competition begins Monday in Burnaby at the double-A B.C. championship with 16 teams vying for the crown.
The Blue Jags open at 9 a.m. vs. Caledonia before facing Southridge at 12:30 p.m. SMUS will wrap up round-robin pool play — with four teams in four divisions — against Matthew McNair on Tuesday at 11 a.m. before the tournament shifts into playoffs.
Medal games are set for Wednesday morning.
“We’re confident right now, coming off the Colonist Cup final, so we’re all really excited to give it our all and finish up the season strong. It would be great to finish it off with a fourth [title],” said SMUS veteran defender Callum Montgomery.
“We feel pretty confident with our abilities going in, but who knows what is over there competition-wise. We haven’t experienced that yet, so it will be interesting going in.” What the Blue Jags do have is confidence as they’re riding a high note that they want to stretch into one final tournament.
“Definitely,” agreed Montgomery. “We have lots of momentum right now. We’re all super excited about playing and we’re deep around the pitch. It’s going to be a battle and we’re going to have to be disciplined all throughout the tournament.”
Montgomery displayed that in Wednesday’s Colonist Cup, marking a frustrated Oak Bay striker Charlie Miller to the point where he took a red card in the championship game against the triple-A Island champion Bays.
“We’ve had a great season so far. We’ve battle hard,” said fellow SMUS Grade 12 student Matty McColl. “Winning Islands is a big confidence booster and I think after Wednesday’s win against Oak Bay in the Colonist Cup, we all have the right mentality going into this.
“We’ve all been building up to this point and hoping to end the season on a high note. We’ve talked about this from the beginning of the season, wanting to go for all four this year,” McColl said of what would be a quadruple championship run. “We have three of the four and hoping to get that final one.”
The Blue Jags, to a man, know this will be the toughest of all.
“I think it’s the one most important to the team, too,” said McColl. “Most of these guys have been together since middle school and always hoping to get to this point.”
A point which features a lot of uncertainty about competition.
“The thing about playing on the Island, we know a lot about the teams. Going to play provincials we don’t know much about the mainland teams, at all,” stressed McColl. “We just have to have the right mentality and figure out the situation as it presents itself.
“We’re all ready for the occasion and we all just want to bring home the banner,” he stressed.