By Kristen McEwen
Prince Albert athlete Tyler Diakiw proved to be the most valuable player for the under-16 boys division in Moose Jaw at the 2014 Soccer 4 Life Outdoor Youth Provincial Championship.
The championship took place from June 28 to July 1.
Though the Melfort International U16 Boys 11-Aside team lost in the semi-finals, Diakiwâs performance left an impression on the coaches in the tournament.
Melfort International coach Eldon Bassett said itâs unusual for a player not on a winning team to receive the title.
âA lot of people noticed him, a player of that age group, even though we didnât make it to the final,â Bassett said. âUsually the winner of that comes from the top two teams.â
To award the title of MVP for each division, the coaches vote for a player after each round robin match. The player with the most points earns MVP of the division.
Diakiw plays in goal and also as a forward for Melfort International. In the semi-final game, Diakiw had five highlight saves in the net. The final score for the semi-final was 4-2.
âHe was amazing in the semifinal first half in goal,â Bassett said. âAnd he moved out to striker in the second half. He had a strong weekend.â
Kyle Ouellette, Thomas Sumners, Jacob Olson, Easton Pelletier-Armitage and Saxon Yeo are also Prince Albert players that are part of the U16 team. Sumners scored two goals during the championship, one during the semifinal.
The Melfort International U14 Boys 11-Aside team won gold in their division. Despite camping throughout the three days of rain, the team kept their spirits high and won all five games. In three of the games, Melfort International was behind at the half.
Four athletes from Prince Albert contributed to the teamâs win including Keegan Wolfe, Fisher Yeo, Dwayne Morash and Grayson Mliezcko.
Grayson Mliezcko was given a red card after denying a scoring chance in the game before the semifinal match. Mliezcko was then suspended for the teamâs semifinal match before being able to play in the final match.
Bassett said it was tough being without one of the teamâs best defensive players during the match, however the team never gave up.
âWe just battled all weekend and we never quit and we never give up,â Bassett said. âWe always had an attitude that we could come back.â
Bassett added that both Melfort International teams are comprised of players from Melfort, Prince Albert, Tisdale and James Smith.