LANGLEY — With the arrival of zone playoffs, the best part of the B.C. high senior school boys soccer schedule is just now kicking off.
To celebrate that, we’ve got the latest AAA rankings which show extensive movement outside of the top five, especially with Surrey schools Fleetwood Park, Princess Margaret and Elgin Park all moving from unranked status into the Top 10.
As well, Surrey’s Panorama Ridge Thunder sits at No. 3 behind the preseason Nos. 1-2, Coquitlam’s Dr. Charles Best Blue Devils and Victoria’s Reynolds Roadrunners respectively.
AAA Top 10
1 Dr. Charles Best Blue Devils (Coquitlam) (LW-1)
2 Reynolds Roadrunners (Victoria) (2)
3 Panorama Ridge Thunder (Surrey) (4)
4 Kitsilano Blue Demons (Vancouver) (6)
5 Sentinel Spartans (West Vancouver) (HM)
6 Fleetwood Park Dragons (Surrey) (NR)
7 Princess Margaret Lions (Surrey (NR)
8 Burnaby Central Wildcats (NR)
9 Elgin Park Orcas (Surrey) (NR)
10 Argyle Pipers (North Vancouver) (5)
Honourable mention — Moscrop Panthers (Burnaby) (NR), St. George’s Saints (Vancouver) (HM), R.A. McMath Wildcats (Richmond) (HM), 7 Sullivan Heights Stars (Surrey) (7)
Dropped out — Centennial Centaurs (Coquitlam) (3), Oak Bay Bays (Victoria) (8), Vancouver College Fighting Irish (9), Tamanawis Wildcats (Surrey) (10), Sardis Falcons (Chilliwack) (HM)
For Derek Duke, co-coach of the defending B.C. champion Thunder (remember, they defeated the crosstown L.A. Matheson Mustangs 2-0 in the 2019 provincial AAA title tilt), getting the program back up and running after the cancelled 2020 campaign has not been as difficult as expected, and he credits the hunger of his players for the smooth transition to an unbeaten 5-1-0 record in the South Fraser’s South Zone standings.
“We had definitely lost a step in terms of the unknowns of the fitness levels of the guys and how they were doing over the last year,” said Duke before practice Monday of the team he co-coaches with Darrell Fast.
“The good thing was that Darrell and I have also coached them in junior soccer before, and so the guys were all super excited to get back and so hungry.”
A big bonus?
One of the most complete athletes in school history is back for his senior season.
As a Grade 10 in 2019, Karmveer Rai started at centre back for the Thunder In that same school year, he also won gold in his weight class at the B.C. High School Wrestling championships.
The Thunder, along with the rest of the South Fraser’s playoff bound teams, including No. 6 Fleetwood Park and No. 7 Princess Margaret and No. 9 Elgin Park, are awaiting the release of their zone championship draw.
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