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Private Elementary soccer league ends with a bang

A Samoa Baptist Academy forward tries to dribble away from two South Pacific Academy defenders during the Girls’ Grade 6-8 championship game on Friday, Nov. 30, 2012 at the Kananafou Seminary field. [FFAS MEDIA/Brian Vitolio]

Players, students, coaches, faculty and parents’ ear-splitting cheers and applause pierced the heavens at the Kananafou Seminary compound to close out the 2012 FFAS Private Elementary Schools Soccer League with a bang on Nov. 30, 2012.

The month-long competition for the private elementary schools of the territory produced nail-biting championship games that rival the best of them in the upper echelons of the sport while at the same time bringing forward the pure, unadulterated joy of competing from all involved.

Pacific Horizons’ principal Caroline Tuiolosega thanked FFAS for including a seven-a-side competition for the children in grades 3, 4 & 5 in a futsal-sized field.  The older age group (grades 6, 7 & 8) competed in the traditional 11 vs. 11 format.

“We (private schools Kanana Fou, Pacific Horizons School, Peteli Academy, Samoa Baptist Academy, South Pacific Academy and Ta’iala Academy) had asked them if they could have games for grades 3, 4 and 5 and they did it, and you have all seen how much fun the children had out there playing,” she pointed out. “It has been great working with FFAS and this is part of their great mission to develop this great sport!”

FFAS President Iuli Alex Godinet thanked the principals and parents for working together with the association in making this an even more successful second year of the competition.

“Without your approval we would not have had great games of enjoyment for all of us, parents, teachers and most especially the players themselves,” Iuli said.

Peteli Academy was crowned champion in the Grades 3, 4 & 5 (ages 8-11) divisions for boys and girls after narrow wins in the title match. Peteli had three teams vying for a title in three of the four finals.

Samoa Baptist Academy defeated South Pacific Academy 5-1 in the girls’ Grades 6, 7 & 8 title match while SPA edged Peteli 2-1 in the boys’ final.

Tuiolosega marveled at the improved skills of the players compared to the first season.

“The learning curve has been steep this year,” she explained. “Last year, watching from the sidelines, the players just kicked the ball back and forth but this year I saw them doing things skillfully that has been a pleasure to watch.”

Tuiolosega and Iuli both thanked Kanana Fou in their remarks for allowing the use of its field for the competition.

“There is not a more magnificent place to watch these young athletes play,” Tuiolosega said.

“Our relationship with Kanana Fou goes back a long way and it is one we try to maintain every year,” Iuli said. “Our thanks go out to the CCCAS Kanana Fou leaders, the Kanana Fou Seminary and especially to the seminary students for putting up with our competitions year in and year out.”

CEO Tavita Taumua said that nine schools had previously signed up for the competition but unfortunately three dropped during the planning stages of the league.

“Hopefully next year the number of schools participating will increase and already my staff and I have jotted down notes and ideas of how to make the next one better,” Taumua said.  “One of these ideas is for the association to take an active role on the technical side of things by having workshops for the schools’ coaches so that they can improve as well.

“Specialized coaching is needed when dealing with elementary-aged children and this is one aspect of technical training we can provide to the coaches sometime next year,” continued Taumua.  “The skills of the players can only get better and better.”

FFAS provided trophies from first to fourth place for all competitions except the Boys’ 3, 4 & 5 grades as all seven teams received one.

There were only four teams in the Girls’ grades 3-5 competition and six each in the higher divisions for both girls and boys.

GRADES 3, 4 & 5 BOYS

PETELI ACADEMY 0, PACIFIC HORIZONS 0 (1,0 shootout)

This match went the distance before finally being settled by way of a shootout with only one goal sealing the victory between the two.

In the match for 3rd place, Kanana Fou A won against Samoa Baptist Academy.

Peteli’s Ieremia Sousou was named MVP of the division while Pacific Horizon’s Pei Rayner received a 2nd Best MVP award.

The final standings of this group are Peteli, Pacific Horizon, Kanana Fou A, SBA, SPA, Kanana Fou B and Ta’iala Academy.

GRADES 3, 4 & 5 GIRLS

PETELI ACADEMY 2, KANANA FOU A 1

Peteli Academy took a commanding 2-0 lead in the first half and then just managed to hold off Kanana Fou in the second half for a final finish of 2-1.

In the match for 3rd place, SBA won against SPA.

Eileen Pati of Peteli was named the MVP of the division while Savili Faapalemata of Kanana Fou A received a 2nd Best MVP award.

The final standings of this group are Peteli Academy, Kanana Fou A, Samoa Baptist Academy and South Pacific Academy.

GRADES 6, 7 & 8 BOYS

SOUTH PACIFIC ACADEMY 3, PETELI ACDEMY 1

It was not until the final minute of the first half that the scoreless deadlock was finally broken by SPA for a 1-0 lead going into the break.

The tough match did not see an increase in goals until the last five minutes of the match as SPA reeled off two successive goals to put the match out of reach for the title.

Shawn Ki of SPA was named MVP of the division.

In the game for 3rd place, Kanana Fou A won against Samoa Baptist Academy.

The final standings for this division are South Pacific Academy, Peteli Academy, Kanana Fou A, Samoa Baptist A, Pacific Horizons and Kanana Fou B.

GRADES 6, 7 & 8 GIRLS

SAMOA BAPTIST ACADEMY 5, SOUTH PACIFIC ACADEMY 1

A 3-0 start in the first half helped Samoa Baptist Academy clinch the championship for this age group.

SBA scored two more goals in the second half while SPA managed one of their own in the same period.

Gloria Poasa of Samoa Baptist was awarded the MVP of the division.

Kanana Fou A edged Peteli Academy in the match for 3rd place.

The final standings of this division are Samoa Baptist Academy, South Pacific Academy, Kanana Fou A, Peteli Academy, Pacific Horizons School and Kanana Fou B.



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