A group of young men from Grand Falls-Windsor were good as gold last weekend at the provincial U16 soccer mega tournament in Corner Brook.
The group from the Exploits Soccer Association took top honours in the D and E division tournament after a hard fought weekend on the field.
Originally up against four teams, their opponents from Stephenville had to back out at the last minute, leaving the Exploits boys up against Springdale, Labrador City, and Conception Bay North.
In their first game of the round robin against Springdale, the Exploits team easily took them out with a score of 6-1.
"We're a good team and we have, a lot of skilled players, we also have a lot of players that work extremely hard," said coach Marcus Tulk. "We have some players that control the ball well, and a bunch of people who run nonstop and put the other team into the ground."
Later on that evening, the team was up against a team from Conception Bay North. Though the game ended in a tie, Tulk said the final moments of the game were the highlight of the weekend for a lot of the players.
"We were down 3-1 in the second half, it was getting close to the end of the game, and we managed to poke in two goals to tie it right before the game ended," he said. "That was pretty exciting."
The second morning of the tournament, the Exploits team had to play Labrador City, who beat them 3-1 in a close match.
Even with one loss, their hard work wasn't for naught. The group managed to make it to the championship game where they played Springdale again, winning this time 6-1, and making the Exploits U16 team the gold medal winners. The Most Valuable Player award was given to Jordan Head of the Exploits team, and teammate Aaron Winters was given the Most Sportsmanlike award.
This weekend's tournament was the only big one of the summer for the team, and with the program ending in several weeks, likely the last, According to Tulk, the players gave their all the whole season in hopes of bringing home the gold.
"They worked hard for it. A lot of them it's their first year playing soccer, and it's hard to pick up at 16," explained Tulk. "They were down at the field every day before the tournament for hours just practicing. Then to go out and get gold, (it) was awesome."