Barring a Gatorade shower for the winning coach, there won't be any ice worth sliding on this week on the soccer fields in Aldergrove.
Tim Hempsall won't mind. As a long-track speedskater in the Oympic Oval club in Calgary, he's only too happy to put his blades aside and get in the swing of summer on the soccer pitch. Hempsall's cross-training methods certainly meet the approval of the Prince George Under-18 Kodiaks, who like the lightning bolt zap he'll deliver as the team striker this week in Aldergrove, site of the boys provincial B Cup championships.
"Tim is quite the athlete in speedskating and he's using this as his off-season way of staying in shape," said U-18 Kodiaks coach Orlando Mauro. "That kid has no quit in him, he just knows how to go and maybe one day we'll see him in the Olympics. What he might lack in technical (soccer) ability, he has it for a never-quit attitude and speed. He doesn't know any other way except 100 miles an hour."
The Kodiaks consist mostly of 16-year-old players, with two 18-year-olds (Hempsall and Jon Sexton) and one 17-year-old (Amedee Cimana). The 19-player roster includes 16-year-old Rob Panaich, who won't play due to a deviated septum suffered in a school basketball game.
Jonathan Richards, 16, and Logan Cheverfils, 17, are the Kodiaks goalies and both will likely see action at the provincial tournament. Richards was one of five Kodiaks who spent last weekend in Edmonton at the Showcase Combine, a two-day camp for NCAA and CIS schools to identify potential scholarship players.
Logan Phenuff, Brett Bobier, Robert McDougall, and Nicholas Mauro were the other U-18 team members who attended the combine. Four female players from the Prince George Youth Soccer Association -- twin sisters Sydney and Jordan Hall, Mel Scobie and Jessica Manning -- also took part.
The other members of the U-18 boys team are Michael Norgren, Kieran Missellbrook, Scott Smith, Matt Jubinville, Andrew Lo, Colin Horning, Matthew Couto, Bjorn van Noort, and Nicola Knezevic. Lyle Eggen is the assistant coach.
See Thursday's Citizen for more