Janice Connell sits alongside other parents, students and teachers on the bleachers and watches the first game of the season for the Sir Oliver Mowatt Collegiate’s indoor varsity soccer team.
As her son blocks the ball from a Stephen Leacock Collegiate player, Connell stands up and cheers.
“Come on Cody!” she yells in support of her son and his team.
While you may not think of indoor varsity soccer as a high profile sport it definitely has all the excitement and local parents and students enjoy watching and supporting their team.
Just like any FIFA world cup match, the game between Sir Oliver Mowat C.I. and Stephen Leacock C.I. had all the elements that cause excitement and exhilaration.
One yellow card, one almost injured player and five goals were met by the cheers of supporters yelling out “defence” and encouraging words.
Lasting for approximately an hour, the game ended with a 5-0 win by Stephen Leacock over Mowat.
During the entire game however the air with filled with school spirit as teachers, coaches, parents and students watched anxiously from the sidelines waiting for a goal from either side.
Connell was alongside other parents, students and teacher all there to support the team in their first game of the season.
“I like to support my son in all of his sports,” Connell said as to why she comes to all the soccer games her son plays in. “I really do enjoy it.”
Inside the Metro Sports Centre located at 1510 Birchmount Rd., there were also students from Stephen Leacock C.I. cheering on their fellow classmates and peers on the left side while Mowat supporters cheered on the right.
“I teach a couple of students,” said Lindsay Craig, a teacher at Sir Oliver Mowat adding, “I just wanted to support them and get to know them outside of school, their interests.”
While Mowat did not end up winning the game, Connell says the most important thing to her is that her son feels supported.
“A goal doesn’t really matter as long as he has fun,” she said adding that the whole point of the game is to enjoy playing the sport.
Craig, who was sitting on the benches watching the game in anticipation agreed with Connell’s sentiments.
“For sure it’d be nice if they’d win we have a couple of winning teams so it’d be nice to have another winning team but it’s no big deal,” she said.
The varsity team, which is open to all students from grades nine to 12, consists mainly of younger students in grades nine and 10.
When the buzzer sounded, both teams graciously stepped onto the field and shook hands. Mowat’s team then went towards the benches where their coach Mark Woodley gave them words of comfort before they headed off to change and head home.
Woodley said that having younger players and lack of experience served as a disadvantage when playing against Leacock’s team which had older and more physically mature players.
Nonetheless, Woodley gave the boys a pep talk and made clear that losing the game would just encourage him and his team to work harder and learn for the next game.
“I coached this team last year and got the same result but this year I’m hoping to work on it a little more,” he said adding, “We’re going to practice the basics and worker harder.”