Crusaders and Marauders boys’ teams getting up to speed in short season

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald Stanley Livingston of the St. Mary Marauders sprints past a See Wee Wa Hum defender at Prime Ministers Park last weekend.

For the Carlton Crusaders and the St. Mary Marauders boys’ soccer programs, the next month will be a busy one as they look to make it to this year’s 5A provincial high school championships in Swift Current from Oct. 25-26.

“It’s a very short season at this level,” Crusaders head coach Carlos Correa said.

“You really only have a couple of tournaments before the districts take place in the middle of October, and there’s only a couple of spots up for grabs just to get to the provincials.”

Both teams took to the pitch for their first major event last weekend as Carlton hosted a six-team tournament.

It was the Marauders that came out of the gates strong as they rounded out the tournament with a 4-0 triumph over the John Paul II Crusaders from North Battleford to earn a second place finish.

“I was really happy with how well our guys played, especially in our game against the tournament champions from Swift Current,” Marauders head coach Dale Regel said.  “The Colts are a really good team and I was very pleased to see how we performed against them.

“We have a pretty young group here but this is an extremely talented team. I’m really excited about having the opportunity to coach them.”

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald
Parker Gallegos of the Carlton Crusaders control the ball while facing the Swift Current Colts at Max Clunie Field.

Although the Crusaders didn’t finish in the top two slots, their goal was to continue to build chemistry among a lineup that is different from the one that won a second straight bronze medal at last year’s provincials.

“We lost a number of guys from that team, including three players (Shane Cabilao, Patrick Muhumure and Caleb Parenteau) that are now playing post-second soccer,” Correa said.

“Right now it’s about finding the right fit for everybody and making sure that we are all on the same page before the regionals, as we’d like to have another chance to go back to the provincials.”

Both teams will be in action this weekend for a four-team tournament that’s hosted by the Marauders and will also feature Warman and See See Wa Hum.

The action begins at 2 p.m. Friday with the local schools squaring off at St. Mary.

Meanwhile, the Crusaders’ girls’ program will be hosting an eight-team tournament over the weekend at Prime Ministers Park.

The Marauders will also be taking part in the event, along with the John Paul II Crusaders from North Battleford, the Holy Cross Crusaders from Saskatoon, Yorkton Sacred Heart, Meadow Lake Carpenter, Warman and See See Wa Hum.