Grade 12 George McDougall student leading way for Mustangs soccer team
By: Lucas Punkari
| Posted: Thursday, May 15, 2014 10:48 am
Having watched him develop over the course of the last four years, George McDougall Mustangs Coach Iain Cain can’t help but praise the improvements Grade 12 striker Chris Sanchez-Avery has made since he started playing for the team in Grade 9.
“You need your character players to step up, and Chris has done that for us, especially this year,” Cain said. “I think that’s a big thing for our younger players to see as well, as they will be following the older guys such as Chris when they move on from our team.”
“He’s always been a fast player, but his finishing has become a lot better since he started with us, and he’s been able to capitalize on his scoring chances,” he added. “Plus, his attitude has also gotten a lot better, and I think everyone on our team has noticed a massive difference there.”
The 18-year-old from Airdrie has hit the ground running at the start of the season, as he has scored three goals to help the Mustangs kick off the campaign with a 2-0 record.
“I’ve become a lot better thanks to my coaches (Cain and Brian DeGiuseppe), as both of them have helped me with my positioning and with my touches with the ball to become a stronger player,” Sanchez-Avery said.
“I’ve been able to get a couple of goals already, but I still feel like I can play better,” he added.
“I haven’t been able to capitalize on my scoring chances as much as I would like, and I’m not satisfied with that.”
When asked what has been the key to the Mustangs’ success as the team headed into a Rocky View Sports Association (RVSA) league game against the Bow Valley Bobcats in Cochrane on May 13 (after press time), Sanchez-Avery said he and his teammates are playing to their strengths.
“We’ve been making lots of good passes and using our skills to the fullest,” Sanchez-Avery explained.
“We’ve just been keeping the ball on the ground instead of lobbing it up the field and chasing after it, and I think we’ve been really effective.”
“We all want to win this year, and we really want to do it for our two coaches, as both of them might not be coming back,” he added.
Cain has confirmed that he won’t be coming back next year, as he will be teaching at the new East Lake School in Chestermere, while DeGiuseppe may take some time off to be with his young family.
“Brian’s just welcomed a second child to his family, so that may be taking up his time, but I’m finishing up here for sure,” Cain said.
“I’m going to miss being with these guys here a lot.”
Sanchez-Avery will be moving on from the high school ranks after this season as well, as he will be graduating from George McDougall and starting his apprenticeship as a heavy duty mechanic with Southland Transportation in Calgary.
“In between my school studies at SAIT and my work schedule, I think this is going to be it for me for playing soccer,” Sanchez-Avery said.
“I’ve been busy playing for the last few years with high school, indoor club, and outdoor club soccer, and I really won’t have the time to do all of that anymore.”
“As a result of that, I am really gunning to win the RVSA title this year, and I really want to help our team accomplish that goal,” he added.
The Mustangs will be back in action at Monklands Soccer Park in Airdrie on May 15, when it will host the Cochrane Cobras at 4:30 p.m.
It will then wrap up the RVSA regular season on May 20 when it will pay a visit to the Springbank Park for All Season for a 4:30 p.m. kickoff with the Springbank Phoenix.