September 28th, 2021

A lasting legacy: Soccer players hit the pitch in memory of Keith Sykes

By RYAN MCCRACKEN on May 6, 2019.

NEWS PHOTO RYAN MCCRACKEN
Mason Antler, of the Alleycat Angels, fires a goal into the net during the championship game of the 25th annual 7-a-side Soccer Tournament in Memory of Keith Sykes. The Angels defeated the Ralston Rovers 7-2 to win their second straight title.

rmccracken@medicinehatnews.com@MHNMcCracken

Every year, Jeff, Katie and Kyle Sykes make a trip to the Methanex Bowl to honour the memory of their father.

Keith Sykes passed away nearly four years ago, but his memory quickly became the focus of the annual 7-a-side soccer tournament, now named in his honor.

“To see his name live on throughout the soccer community, it was really nice to see,” said Jeff Sykes. “My old man lived on this pitch for years and years, here and the Crescent Heights one. He was probably one of the better defenders they ever had.”

Jeff and his siblings were on hand again Sunday evening to congratulate the repeat champion Alleycat Angels while presenting the Keith Sykes Memorial Award for best defender to Angels’ back Mason Antler.

Jeff added he has countless memories of being out on the soccer field with his father over the years, so to continue building memories with the local soccer community in his memory means a lot to all three of the siblings.

“My youngest memories are being at the pitch with him when I was a kid. He taught me the all about the mentality of being a football fan,” said Jeff. “He brought me into the family of soccer and what it means to play football. ”

The Angels battled the elements through a snowy Saturday then cruised to a 7-2 victory over the Ralston Rovers to clinch their second consecutive championship at the event, which celebrated its 25th season in Medicine Hat this weekend.

Allan Siwela led the offence with a pair of goals while Antler, Mark Elson, Forkpa Sumo, Jordan Lonsdale and Jared Ursulan added individual tallies.

Liam Croskell and Kyle Cassell scored for Ralston.

Chris Hanna, of Lethbridge’s Bumblebee FC, took home the tournament award for leading goal-scorer.

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