April 22nd, 2024

Medicine Hat U17 RASC win provincial gold

By JAMES TUBB on March 21, 2024.

SUBMITTED PHOTO The Medicine Hat Rattlers Academy Soccer Club U17 team poses with their provincial championship medals won this weekend in Red Deer.

jtubb@medicinehatnews.com@ReporterTubb

Medicine Hat U17 soccer was on top of the province this weekend.

Medicine Hat’s Rattlers Academy Soccer Club U17 team won provincial indoor gold over the weekend, beating the Red Deer Renegades 5-2 Sunday at the provincial tournament hosted in Red Deer.

The RASC team swept the 12-team tournament, winning all four of their matches. They beat the Blizzard Boys 3-1 Friday, topped the Scottish Bridges 2-1 Saturday and beat the NSU/Viktoria Hinds 4-3 Sunday morning to punch their ticket to the finals.

Head coach Damir Omerovic has coached this group of players, who also won the U15 outdoor provincial championships, for seven years now and marvels at their growth in that span.

“Just a great group of boys who are dedicated to the game and want to grow and succeed, I’m just very proud of them,” Omerovic said. “All the hard work and heart they put into the game these last couple of seasons.”

Omerovic coaches at Medicine Hat College, leading the men’s soccer and futsal programs. He says the RASC team played in four tournaments during the season that started in the fall and were able to face teams from other provinces and different tiers to see where they stacked up. He says it was a season of growth where they had to figure where they stood against the rest of the league as they prepared for the provincial tournament.

Irman Omerovic led the RASC in tournament scoring with six goals. He’s just one of Damir’s sons on the team, with Kenan Omerovic also playing for Medicine Hat.

Omerovic says it was a proud dad moment watching Irman have the tournament he did and sharing the championship experience with his sons.

“It’s something that every dad takes pride in, even watching him from the bleachers, not to mention being on the sideline, supporting his success and see him grow as a player,” Omerovic said. “He showcased himself over the weekend at the best level.

“Seeing them have that success with their friends they grew up with in this town, it definitely makes it more special.”

The next step for the group is keeping as many of the players they can as the soccer season transitions to outdoor and they get to adapt to the larger pitch and more players in the action at a time. It’s an annual transition he says he looks forward to as he also looks to get the boys interested in playing for the college.

“I’m also looking forward to just working with this group for the next couple of years as a coach at the college level here in Medicine Hat and I’m trying to kind of get them to their full potential and hopefully one day see them represent the Rattlers program, too.”

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