NORTH DELTA — It’s much too premature to start predicting a championship one full decade after it won the first school title in its school’s history.
After all, North Delta’s Sands Scorpions are just trying to be the best senior boys soccer team they can be in 2019.
Yet the new season will mark 10 years since Sands edged Port Coquitlam’s Archbishop Carney Stars 1-0 in the 2009 provincial Double A title tilt at the Burnaby Lake Sports Complex.
On Thursday, the Scorpions improved to an impressive 2-0 in South Fraser AA conference play with its second impressive victory of the young campaign, beating its crosstown rivals, the North Delta Huskies, by a resounding 5-2 count on the turf of adjoining Mackie Park.
“These guys were excited, from the moment we saw them in the morning we could tell,” smiled Scorpions’ coach Lucas Serres after the win, one which comes on the heels of Sands’ 5-1 win in its league opener Thursday at home to Surrey’s Pacific Academy Breakers. “Overall, it was a typical, hard-fought Delta derby and a good victory.”
The Scorpions took an early lead off an own goal and made it 2-0 before the break when Micah Bonikowsky scored the first of his two on the day.
North Delta got that one back early in the second half, but back-to-back strikes off aggressive play in the attacking third by the Scorpions’ prodigious 11th grade talent Issiah Sahib made it 4-1.
The teams traded goals to finish with Bonikowsky showing his strength on the ball to pot his team’s final marker.
“Issiah is a very skillful kid, and what we’ve noticed is how much he has matured over the summer,” says Serres, himself a former UBC Thunderbirds player. “He just takes things a lot more seriously and he wants to be the best player on the field every time he steps out there.
“Micah is an amazing athlete, one of the fastest and most athletic kids I’ve seen,” added the coach. “He has such nice touch and he knows how to finish.”
Serres has loved the commitment he’s seen in the early stages of the season, and there is the carrot of trying to repeat as provincial champs 10 years after the school last did it.
If enthusiasm counts for anything, they have taken a good first step.
“We have so many guys on the bench, so many guys who have come out to play this season and they are all aware that everyone is taking this very seriously,” he said.
“Today, we took the lead at the half, then gave one back in the first minute, but they handled the adversity well and they settled down.”
The season is barely a week old in most leagues, but early on, so many teams carry the belief that it can be their season.
The Scorpions are no different, and for them, it would be a chance to honour, 10 years after the fact, the only senior varsity sports title won at a school that first opened its doors in the fall of 1975.
Of course, that 2009 Sands team had a level of commitment that was off the charts. And when it arrived at the B.C. finals that year, led by soon-to-be MVP Cam Kamensek, it truly showed. Backstopped by keeper Kyle Nairn, the Kevan Gaull-coached Scorpions outscored their foes by a combined 15-0 count en route to the title.
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