Nov 11, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorThe Lander U10 Strikers soccer team last month won the Rapid City Soccerfest title to end the fall season.
Lander U10 coach Tony Lowham said the Strikers advanced to the championship match after having a goal differential of 33-3.
In the finals, the Strikers took control early to lead 4-0 at the break against a Rapid City team. The Strikers went on to win 7-2 in the title match.
"This season allowed us to demonstrate to other clubs in the state and region that even a small town can produce great teams," Lowham said. "Our tournament victories made the fall 2012 a special season."
Players on the team were Domonic Lowham, Jaren Calkins, Madison Chance, Kellon Donahue, Zack Nelson, Gus Mosemann, Parker Reed, Caynen Brown, Sam Welsh and Eli Mazurie.
"The most important thing was the friendship and trust the players developed in each other," Lowham said.
Lander has U10 silver and gold teams.
"We have always struggled in the fall to create boys teams because of football," Lowham said.
Lander has a U10 girls team, a U12 girls team and U14 boys team.
"Most of the U10 gold players have played together since they were 7 years old," Lowham said. "We worked very hard on basic soccer skills and passing. As they have progressed and continued to work as a team, they are able to do things on the field that most U12 teams cannot do."
The Lander U10 team is close on and off the field.
"This team is special because the players are friends and all of them love playing soccer," Lowham said. "They have a soccer ball at their feet at school during recess and on the weekends."
Lowham said the players do impressive drills in warmups.
"We have two 9-year-olds players that can juggle the ball over 100 times," Lowham said. "Most high school soccer players cannot do that. We have a girl on our team that puts opposing coaches and parents in shock because she can completely control their best and fastest players. Most of them were able to look up at older Striker players and high school soccer players as role models. They all have great support from their parents."
After the championship game in Rapid City, S.D., the Lander Strikers had a total of 40 goals in five games.
The Strikers have been scored on only five times in five games.
"When we are focused, talking to each other and passing well, we are almost unstoppable on offense," Lowham said. "Our defensive players never give up, and the opposing team always needs to work hard just to get a shot."
The two goalies are Samuel Welsh and Jaren Calkins.
"They do amazing things every game," Lowham said.
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