The Williams Lake Lightning emerged victorious at the 25th annual 12-team Big Bear Classic soccer tournament in Revelstoke last weekend.
The Lightning didn’t surrender a single goal over four games to claim the title. Williams Lake had won five consecutive Big Bear Classics from 2009-2013 before taking a two-year hiatus from the tournament. The lakecity returned to the Shuswap event this year to cap off six championships in a row while never tasting defeat over that span.
“We really struggled to put a roster together and some of our main guys including our main goal scorer Ryan Glanville were unable to go but we had enough of a nucleus of our original guys who’ve been a part of all our previous successes and thought we had a chance to win again,” Lightning player Sean Glanville said.
Williams Lake defeated Canmore, Alta. 1-0 in Sunday’s final. The game winner was scored by Mikel Brogan midway through the first half as he crashed the night to stuff home a Luke Moger free kick.
“It’s always a total team effort with us and we thrive on a defensive first mentality and somehow find a way to come out on top in these close games,” Sean said. “When we come to collect money for winning the tournament the organizers kind of look at us and shake their head and wonder how we always do it.”
The Lightning defeated hosts Revelstoke FC 1-0 in Sunday’s semifinal on a goal from Moger who let go a blast from 20 yards out from the corner of the 18-yard-box which the goalie could only get a hand but failed to keep out.
In Saturday’s round robin Williams Lake played Laski Logging from Nelson, the two-time defending champions in Williams Lake’s absence, which resulted in a very intense game.
It was a very defensive battle which eventually ended in a 0-0 draw. In Wiliams Lake’s second round robin game they defeated Boca from Calgary 4-0 on goals from Sean Glanville, Dale Latin, Moger and Kolby Taylor. The win was enough to place them first in Pool B to set up a semi final date with Pool A winners Revelstoke.
The Lightning defensive line of Glanville, Mike Holm, Craig Latin and Rajan Mangat where solid the entire weekend not conceding a single goal over all four games.
Other members of the winning side included Robin Dieck, Geoff Buchanan and Josh Laking.