Werner Heine, the president of the 100 Mile House Soccer Association, is ecstatic that soccer games have resumed in 100 Mile House. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Werner Heine, the president of the 100 Mile House Soccer Association, is ecstatic that soccer games have resumed in 100 Mile House. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Let the games begin: soccer returns

President Werner Heine caught by surprise at how fast they were able to return to play

Soccer made its return to 100 Mile House last week.

On a hot Thursday afternoon, members of the 100 Mile House Soccer Association played against each other for the first time in over a year. President Werner Heine said they were caught by surprise at how fast they were able to return to play, which meant he had to referee one of the games.

“It caught us a little bit off guard because we had to reline the fields. We had the field lined for social distancing boxes so they had to grow out and now we have the fields. We have three different sizes for the age groups so we had to get on the hind legs to do that,” Heine said. “The referee training was also not being done, because of the limitations we had, so we’re short refs. But we can make it work.”

BC Soccer moved into its second phase of reopening last week following the widespread relaxation of COVID-19 health protocols. Heine said the news was welcomed, as he’d told the Free Press previously he hadn’t expected any games at all this season.

“It’s great, that’s what soccer is all about. You want to have a game. For a month now we were doing skill development, which is also good; however, the carrot at the end is always the game.”

READ MORE: https://www.100milefreepress.net/sports/100-mile-house-soccer-gets-set-to-kick-off/

Nigel Swann, 18, a longtime member of the association who has stepped up to coach the U-14 to U-18 team this year, said he was pleased to see soccer resume.

“This soccer season has been different. The player count has definitely been down since COVID but seeing how most of our dedicated players are still here and we have some new players, it’s nice to see that motivation to play soccer is still there,” Swann said.

He said the players were eager to get back out on the field and have some fun. Swann observed that most of the U14 to U18 players are playing more casually than usual. Showing off their skills and competing against one another, however, is an important part of the experience.

Player Rachel Sikiric said it was a lot of fun to be back on the field. “It was weird, very weird (to be off for a year). Usually, we spend our summers down here so it was quite different,” she said. “Everyone wanted to play games and we were all happy when we were allowed to.”

Although playing soccer is back on, there are still restrictions. Spectators are still not allowed, teams can’t compete against other clubs and only 50 people are allowed per full-sized field. With the size of 100 Mile House’s soccer fields, Heine said this last restriction is not an issue.

Soccer season will continue until the end of the school year before resuming for a month in September.



patrick.davies@100milefreepress.net

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Sarah Balbernie fights Darlyssa Chretien for the ball during one of the first soccer games in 100 Mile House in over a year. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Sarah Balbernie fights Darlyssa Chretien for the ball during one of the first soccer games in 100 Mile House in over a year. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Nelson Swann (from left) watches as Ashton Chretien and Elias Day fight for possession while Megan Holyk looks on. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Nelson Swann (from left) watches as Ashton Chretien and Elias Day fight for possession while Megan Holyk looks on. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Nelson Swann looks to his teammates as he prepares to chuck the ball back onto the field. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Nelson Swann looks to his teammates as he prepares to chuck the ball back onto the field. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Nelson Swann and Keaton Vandergreft jockey for position as they fight for the ball during a game of soccer. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Nelson Swann and Keaton Vandergreft jockey for position as they fight for the ball during a game of soccer. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Las Mapson (from left) reaches for the ball as Ashton Chretien knees the ball away while Keaton Vandergreft and Lee Koch looks on. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Las Mapson (from left) reaches for the ball as Ashton Chretien knees the ball away while Keaton Vandergreft and Lee Koch looks on. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Ashton Chretien (left) scores on Lars Mapson while Lee Koch and Keaton Vandergref attempt to intervene. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Ashton Chretien (left) scores on Lars Mapson while Lee Koch and Keaton Vandergref attempt to intervene. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Lauren Keller (from left) and Sarah Balbernie watch as Nelson Swann makes a break for the goal closely pursued by Darlyssa Chretien. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Lauren Keller (from left) and Sarah Balbernie watch as Nelson Swann makes a break for the goal closely pursued by Darlyssa Chretien. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

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