Breaking new football ground

Salmon Arm football player Matrix Gathergood charged his way through initial U18 Team BC tryouts, continuing his pursuit to represent the province at the 2011 Football Canada Cup.

Waiting: Matrix Gathergood continues to workout while waiting to hear if he has made the final cut for the BC U18 football team. He’s also trying to raise funds to allow him to attend the final tryouts.

Waiting: Matrix Gathergood continues to workout while waiting to hear if he has made the final cut for the BC U18 football team. He’s also trying to raise funds to allow him to attend the final tryouts.

Salmon Arm football player Matrix Gathergood charged his way through initial U18 Team BC tryouts, continuing his pursuit to represent the province at the 2011 Football Canada Cup.

During the May long weekend, 132 players, including Gathergood and Salmon Arm’s Kyle Jordan and Chris Szybunka, attended the Team BC mini-camp at Simon Fraser University.

“It’s pretty exciting. I didn’t think I would make it this far,” says Gathergood, a 17-year-old fullback who is one of 62 players advancing to the final stage of tryouts. “It would be a very big honour because no one from our town has done that before and I don’t think anyone from the Okanagan has done that either.”

On June 10, players on the cut-down roster will play in an exhibition/scrimmage game. To follow will be the announcement of the final 40-player roster. These athletes will form Team BC to compete at the 2011 Football Canada Cup held at the University of Lethbridge July 9 to 15.

For Gathergood, the selection process has been anything but easy.

“It has been very tiring, there is a lot of good competition to go against so I have to do my best at all the drills and whatnot. You always have to be a step above everyone else to be noticed,” he said. “One of the things coaching staff is looking for is attitude. Always running to drills, ‘yes coach, no coach,’ doing what you’re told without question, showing up early to meetings and practices.”

Salmon Arm Secondary Golds football coach Rob Neid says Gathergood is making the most out of the chance to represent B.C.

“He has been training really hard and he is in great condition. I think that has given him opportunity to do so well,” he said.

Gathergood agrees that he’s physically ready.

“I’m pretty much as fit as I can get right now so I’m going to keep it up, rest it up and do my best,” he says.

As for what making the team would mean to him, “It would be a good thing to say I have done and would give me more experience and more notice in the football community for future aspects.”

Gathergood, who started playing when he was 11, says he would like to play for the Kelowna Sun after he graduates next June. Until then, it’s all about making the final cut, something he couldn’t have done without Salmon Arm, he says.

“If it wasn’t for football in Salmon Arm, I would never have thought about it (trying out.) I wouldn’t have the experience or the chance to have this experience either.”

Neid says the football community is excited for Gathergood, and hopes his journey will continue all the way to the Cup.

“We are really proud of him,” says Neid. “I think we can take some pride knowing we are developing kids to a level where they can compete at the highest level in the province.”

Gathergood is determined to make Team BC, but faces funding difficulties. He must raise $1,000 by Thursday, June 9, in order to attend Friday’s game that will decide Team BC’s final roster. Those who wish to help may contact Rob Neid at 250-832-2188.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An air ambulance carrying a suspected injured longboarder takes off from a Spallumcheen property near Otter Lake Road Saturday, April 17. (Richard Breaks photo)
Suspected longboard crash in Spallumcheen sends individual to hospital via air ambulance

Accident involved a North Okanagan man in his late 20s on Otter Lake Road in the township

Vernon Vipers forward Ryan Shostak (centre) fends off a check from Salmon Arm defenceman to get a close-in scoring attempt on Silverbacks goalie Owen Say during Vernon’s 3-2 B.C. Hockey League pod play shootout victory Saturday, April 17, at Kal Tire Place. (Lisa Mazurek - Vernon Vipers photography)
Vernon Vipers use shootout to subdue Salmon Arm

Snakes score 3-2 B.C. Hockey League pod play win at Kal Tire Place

A GoFundMe page has been launched for a Vernon man whose BX orchard property home off Pleasant Valley Road near Stickle Road was totally destroyed in a fire Saturday, April 17. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Fundraising campaign launched for Vernon man who lost home to fire

A GoFundMe page has been started by family; man taken to hospital with injuries from fire

Armaan Dhaliwal hands a cheque for $500 to Shuswap Hospital Foundation president Angie Spencer as his proud grandparents Gordie and Nancy Dhaliwal watch on Friday, April 16. (Jim Elliot/Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm boy’s samosa sales benefit hospital foundation

Armaan Dhaliwal was able to give the Shuswap Hospital Foundation a $500 donation

School District 83 trustees are expected to be discussing the current Long Range Facilities Plan options at the April 20 school board meeting. (File photo)
Letter: Let the people have their say on Salmon Arm school options

Parent encourages School District 83 board to hold off on making a decision

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

A North Okanagan man in his late 20s was flown to hospital by air ambulance Saturday, April 17, shortly after 6:30 p.m. after allegedly crashing on his longboard on a Spallumcheen roadway. (File photo)
Suspected longboard crash in Okanagan sends individual to hospital via air ambulance

Accident involved a North Okanagan man in his late 20s on Otter Lake Road in Spallumcheen

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

A Kelowna Pride Festival 2019 participant holds up a flag. (Kelowna Pride Society)
Kelowna Pride, RCMP continue to work on ‘Safe Place Program’

A new committee has been formed to refine the ‘Safe Place Program’ created by the Kelowna RCMP

Coldstream Fire Department crews stationed at Kal Lake Provincial Park parking lot on Cosens Bay Road on Sunday, April 18, after a car went over a cliff in the area. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Driver escapes after car goes over North Okanagan cliff

The driver has been transported to hospital with unspecified injuries

A strange odour at a West Kelowna apartment building prompted the evacuation of 150 residents on Sunday morning, April 18. (Aaron Hemens - Capital News)
Strange smell at West Kelowna apartment prompts evacuation of 150 residents, pets

150 residents ordered evacuated from a West Kelowna apartment building early Sunday morning

This is what’s left of a truck that caught fire at Pyramid Provincial Park off Highway 97 near Summerland Saturday night. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Photo Gallery: Truck gutted by fire at popular Okanagan park, trees saved

Just a metal shell of what once was a pick up truck is left at the scene

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

Most Read