Winter Challenge Cup was highly competitive

Nathan Liewicki
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Four Moose Jaw teams played in fourth annual tournament

Cody Smith’s team didn’t make it to the final. They didn’t even register a win, but he wasn’t too down on himself, or his team.

The Moose Jaw Soccer Association hosted its annual Winter Challenge Cup Adult Soccer Tournament at YaraCentre from March 14-16. Four of the 20 teams that participated were from Moose Jaw, although neither of them were victorious in any of the three divisions. Submitted photo

“I’m not too big of a competitive person where I need to score goals and need to win,” Smith said Wednesday. “As long as I’m having fun – and I had fun with the people I played with – that’s all that matters.”

Smith captained one of four Moose Jaw teams that participated in the fourth annual Winter Challenge Cup Adult Soccer Tournament at YaraCentre from March 14-16. The tournament featured 19 Saskatchewan-based teams and one team from Calgary playing in three divisions – men’s, co-ed competitive and co-ed recreational – for a prize purse of $3,200.

The Moose Jaw Soccer Association (MJSA) hosted the tournament.

Playing in the co-ed recreation division, Smith’s squad – MJFC – went winless but weren’t shutout in any of their four games.

“It was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be,” said Smith, a first-time participant. “We didn't do very well the whole weekend, but I thought it was a very good tournament with very solid teams.”

The co-ed recreation division featured another Moose Jaw team, but they didn’t qualify for the division final. MCFC (Regina) defeated MAACDIJJJTT (Regina) 7-5 to claim the $350 first place prize.

Moose Jaw-based Jiminy Kickit came close to winning the co-ed competitive division crown, but they lost to Regina’s CN Stars 6-5 in extra time. Jiminy Kickit took home $400 for their runner-up finish, but the CN Stars won $800 for their division victory.

In the final game of the tournament, Kickits (Regina) topped Calgary’s Cupid Stunts 3-0 to win the men’s division, and the $875 cash prize.

John Shurniak, the tournament committee chair and MJSA office manager, noted the plan for the tournament was also to include a women’s division. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

“We have offered a women's division, but we just haven't had enough teams to make it a go. This year we didn't have any women's teams enter,” said Shurniak. “We'd love to have them here, but we don't get the interest for it, I guess.”

Even though there was not a women’s division, Shurniak was pleased with this year’s tournament, which has increased in size every year its inception in 2011. 

“We had a lot of positive feedback from a lot of the teams that I talked to,” said Shurniak. “So, overall it was a pretty positive experience for most of the teams that came out.”

Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks

Organizations: CN Stars

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Regina, Calgary

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