Vélez Win Region 1 Tournament
See Photos. The Vélez boys won the Region 1 Championship tournament by beating Maine (Coastal) in PK's 4-2 after five rounds.
It was a character performance all week as a virus spread quickly through the team claiming fifteen victims through the finals. Thanks to Delsym and some clever substituting, the boys were able to struggle through the group stages before finding their game in the semis. The finals were a tough event with both teams running out of gas through 110 minutes of play.
Below is a recap of the tournament from our assistant coach, Peter:
The real story from this tournament is the fortitude displayed by these young men as they overcame adversity and sacrificed themselves for the team. They continually picked up the other. Each and every one of them contributed to this championship. I believe about 15 of the 18 boys were sick.
There were fevers, chills, lower GI attacks, upper GI attacks, persistent coughs, deep fatigue. Evan played the entire tournament sick. On top of the ailments, there were the injuries; Momadu’s ankle, Milton’s ankle, Kevin’s ankle, Julien’s ankle, Archie’s impaired vision, Petey’s knee, Aiden’s back (after a hit). Kevin suffered a severe cramp in the last game. We started stuffing relish down his throat to try and stop the cramp.
One of my favorite moments occurred when Petey was elbowed to the nose after a headball…..it was gushing….We took him to the sideline, washed the blood out of his jersey, stuffed his nostrils with Gauze and sent him right back in. Witness Patrick O’ Neil barely able to hold his head up…..sleeping during warm ups so he could play the game. He wasn’t the only one. Julien was telling Miguel and Ian “ I have nothing left”…yet he returned the next day to play the entire game. Momadu was clipped hard on his ankle. The trainer took him to the tent and taped him. He came back to play.
Story after story…time after time…They are too numerous to list. In the overtime of the last game, Miguel and Ian were simply asking “ Who can play”…..No one was saying no if they could walk. Brendan’s performance at the end was inspirational. The boy was very sick [puked twice on the way home]. He played one of his best games. They truly became men at this tournament and have earned respect. I’ll never forget it !