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St. James Regional boys claim first AA soccer championship

St. James Regional boys claimed their first AA soccer championship on Friday, Oct. 23 after defeating Belanger Memorial. Front row, from left: Travis Mauger, Jordan Pike, Lockie MacDougall,Cameron Tapp. Back row: Ben Aucoin, Andrew Mercer, Markus Farrell, Tristen Hodder, Liam Ingram, Dylan Macdougall, Matthew Billard – © J. René Roy

PORT AUX BASQUES – It might have been a bit chilly out, but that didn’t seem to cool the excitement of the St. James Regional High School and the Belanger Memorial School AA boys soccer teams during the best of 2 tournament on Thursday and Friday, Oct. 22 and 23.

Without a clear path to a soccer season due to COVID-19 restrictions, both schools received permission from School Sport and District to have a AA tournament.

Coach Lockie Macdougall of St. James Regional High says they normally play AAA, but without the numbers this year they moved to AA to be able to compete.

“Its a seven on seven game on a smaller field. Belanger never had anyone to play against, so they gave us the opportunity to play against a smaller school.”

Over the two day tournament, which was won through total number of goals scored, St. James emerged victorious after a scoreless tie on Thursday, and a 2-1 late surge on Friday.

“Belanger scored the first goal in the second half, we tied it up, and then we scored a late one by Liam Ingram to take the 2-1 lead,” explains Macdougall, who is a graduate of Belanger Memorial himself.

He says defeating the school he went to is “quite surreal”.

First year Coach Paul Ford of Belanger Memorial says his team had about a month of practicing once the school year started.

“We did have a practice game, and then right into it.”

Coach Macdougall proudly stated that this Soccer Championship banner is the first ever that the school has won, and that their new championship title came only a week after the St James Girls AA team won their first ever championship.

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