Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Shades of the Melchester Rovers, in Boise

Sawtooth U-11 boys pull off amazing rally

Here are the happy Sawtooth United U-11 boys who incredibly came from a 4-0 first-half deficit to win their President’s Cup Tournament championship game 3-0 on penalty kicks, in Boise last weekend. Front row, from left, Garrett Rawlings, Carter Ros, Henry Everitt, Yuri McClure and Tripp Hutchinson. Back row, from left, coach Ed Cwiklinski, Parker Jones, Keegan Whitelaw, Joey Reidy, Danny Graves, Jack Goodwin, Emmitt Stevens, Tom Gillespie, Ben Brunelle and coach Richard Whitelaw.

You might think this is a quick quote about Richard Whitelaw, the agile Lefty's F.C. midfielder of the 1980s and longtime Community School boys' soccer coach. It goes: "He now relies on his agile wit as a football pundit and is very busy on the after dinner circuit."

Actually, that's a tribute to Charlie "The Cat" Carter, a Melchester Rovers fictional player of the 1980s that is posted on the "Roy of the Rovers" Web site. "Roy of the Rovers" is a British comic strip that for over 50 years has detailed the exploits of a fictional soccer player named Roy Race.

To Whitelaw, a skilled footballer now elevated to the role of coach, last weekend's youth soccer action at the President's Cup tournament in Boise reminded him of the fabled comic strip. Whitelaw said, "It was unbelievable game, the likes of which we may never see again. 'Roy of the Rovers' stuff."


He referred to the championship match of the U-11 boys' division. After sweeping its three preliminary games, the Sawtooth United Football Club U-11 Navy Team boys coached by Whitelaw and Ed Cwiklinski found themselves at the bottom of a deep, deep 4-0 hole after 20 minutes against Apollo Crew.

There was certainly no chance for a win. Maybe a late surge for respectability.

But Sawtooth United, turning a page written by the Melchester Rovers, somehow tied the game 6-6 after regulation time and won 3-0 on penalties—Jake Goodwin, Tripp Hutchinson and Joey Reidy making shots while goalkeeper Tom Gillespie saved all three of Apollo Crew's moonshots.

Whitelaw said, "Sawtooth United was down 4-0 after 20 minutes and 4-1 at halftime. Then Sawtooth scored five goals in 15 minutes to start the second half, including a hat trick from Yuri McClure, who was awarded the game ball." Other goals came from Danny Graves and Garrett Rawlings.

Other impact players on the championship squad included defenders Emmitt Stevens, Ben Brunelle and Parker Jones. Gillespie, Carter Ros and Reidy shared the goalkeeping duties.

In its three other games:

SUFC 1-0 over Boise Capitals (goal by Jake Goodwin); SUFC 6-2 over Weiser (Graves, Keegan Whitelaw, Goodwin, Ros, McClure and Hutchinson); and SUFC 5-2 over Apollo Real (Graves 2, Henry Everitt 2 and Garrett Rawlings).

Meanwhile, coach Cwiklinski's SUFC U-11 Gold Team dropped its three President's Cup games—4-1 to Idaho Rush (Braden Flaherty), 6-0 to Apollo Crew and 4-1 to Boise Capitals (Jake Whitlock).

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