Last Saturday, as the sun set on Sam Siranni Field, it also set on the high school playing careers of four players from Golden Gate and Lely High Schools.
The 2006 Tri-County Senior Bowl, held at Fort Myers High School, assembled the best soccer players from Lee, Collier and Charlotte Counties for one last game before the area’s finest head off to possibly further their careers in college, or move on to other things.
The schools participating were split into teams from the north and south. All Collier County schools were represented on the south squads.
Lely did not see any girls represent their program at the game, but did send Wenderson Annorat and Coulton Main to compete for the boys’ south. Golden Gate was represented by Ivan Coliqueo for the boys and Jessica Myers for the girls.
“This game was especially important to me,” Myers said. “Golden Gate is brand new school trying to build tradition, and I’m part of that.”
The games were more competitive than what was expected. Rather than go out and cruise through a game which had little implications, both squads in both games played as though they wanted to win.
The girls match, which ended in a 4-1 south victory, shows a score that was not indicative of the play between the teams. After an opening goal by the north squad midway through the first half, south player Caitlin Farrell responded with a goal of her own, sending the game into halftime with a 1-1 tie.
As the second half began, the grittiness started to show. Several fouls were called, and Mariner’s Jenna Lager was issued a yellow card for a physical play off the ball.
The south team squeezed in three very well executed goals to wrap up the game, two by Bishop Verot player Lorissa Lamoureux, and one more by Christin Carson.
“I only played varsity for two years,” Myers said. “This was a good opportunity for me.”
In the ensuing boys’ game, a much different style of play was displayed in the first half, as both teams handled the ball very well, and created good opportunities with their possessions. It wasn’t until Kevin Wilkes of Evangelical Christian scored a goal in the 27th minute, that play would start to get wild.
Almost immediately after Wilkes’ goal, the north squad scored on back-to-back attempts, to take a 2-1 lead to the break. Coming out of the half, both teams displayed a dogfight worthy of an All-Star effort.
After a departure from the collected brand of play both teams displayed in the first half, both squads scrapped and battled for the last scoring opportunity. It would be the south side that would capitalize, scoring a tying goal off the foot of Immokalee’s Joseph Coltaire.
While many of the players will be looking to further their careers in college, several players, like Myers, will most likely be calling it quits. However, the game’s purpose was achieved, allowing the athletes who worked hardest all year one last shot at a great match with some new friends.
“We had fun,” Myers said. “It was great getting to know all these girls.”