Claiming the futsal crown

All Rankin final in boys division of U-18 regional

Darrell Greer | RANKIN INLET
November 26, 2014
The Rankin Inlet team of, back row from left, Seamas Ayaruak, Rayn Pilakapsi, Aaron Angoo, Dennis Panika, Joseph Tartak, Isaiah Ignerdjuk, Darren Saumik and David Fredlund (coach), and, front row from left, Nuq Arvaluk, Senna Oolooyuk and Nathaniel Fredlund captured the 2014 Kivalliq regional U18 futsal championship in Rankin earlier this month. - Darrell Greer/NNSL photo

The Rankin Inlet team of, back row from left, Seamas Ayaruak, Rayn Pilakapsi, Aaron Angoo, Dennis Panika, Joseph Tartak, Isaiah Ignerdjuk, Darren Saumik and David Fredlund (coach), and, front row from left, Nuq Arvaluk, Senna Oolooyuk and Nathaniel Fredlund captured the 2014 Kivalliq regional U18 futsal championship in Rankin earlier this month. – Darrell Greer/NNSL photo

Emotions were split down the middle in a packed Maani Ulujuk Ilinniarvik gym as two local teams vied for the Kivalliq regional Under-18 boy’s futsal banner in Rankin Inlet earlier this month.

In the end, the team coached by David Fredlund topped the team led by coach Mark Pearson by a score of 8-7 to claim the crown.

Whale Cove took its first regional banner in the female U-18 division.

The event was a large undertaking for Rankin, playing host to both the males and females at the same time.

Fredlund, who also co-organized the tourney, said with the exception of a couple of teams being kept away by bad weather, the tournament ran as smoothly as he could have hoped for.

He said he was impressed by how competitive almost every team at the regional turned out to be.

“We were really surprised by the overall level of competition this year,” said Fredlund. “Quite a few communities really stepped up their game, and we sure didn’t skunk anybody this year. They must be practising a whole lot more, because they were considerably better than in past years they’ve played in the regional.

“They kept up with Rankin, and that made for a very good tournament.”

Fredlund said winning the banner meant a lot to his players this year because they had to work hard for it.

He said victory means more to the boys when a tourney’s competitive, especially during the playoffs.

“It definitely means a whole lot more to the team if we win by a goal or two, than it does when we win by seven or eight.

“When games are close like that you know you might have lost, and that makes it more special. Our guys are there to win, but we all like to see the other teams improving and being really competitive, too.”

Fredlund said wanting to have a competitive tournament played a role in selecting Rankin’s two U18 boy’s teams.

He said there were quite a few strong players in Rankin’s U-18 program, and neither he nor Pearson wanted to see one team dominate the entire tournament.

“We based our decisions on a number of things, but we wanted to match the teams as evenly as possible. That’s, probably, why they both ended-up in the final game.

“Both teams were made up of good and competitive players.”

Fredlund said four players in the U18 group will age out before the 2016 Arctic Winter Games (AWG) in Greenland, but four players from the U15 team will move up to the U18 program.

He said the majority of the program’s best players will still be eligible for the 2016 AWG.

“I’m really hoping Nunavut will have a strong team for the 2016 AWG, and that our Rankin players are a big part of that.

“And, right now, it looks that way.”