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Delta rivals square off as high school soccer season underway

Sun Devils rally in second half to edge Pacers

High school sports continued its robust fall season with the launch of senior boys soccer regular season play last Tuesday and a pair of cross-town rivals getting reacquainted for the first time in two years.

The South Delta Sun Devils rallied with a pair of second half goals, including the game winner from Jackson MacCubbin, to trim the Delta Pacers 2-1 at Holly Park in Ladner.

Health restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out all competitive extra-curricular sports during the 2021/22 school year. The last time the Sun Devils were on the field was in the fifth place game at the 2019 provincial “AAA” championships, concluding their best campaign in a decade that included reaching the inaugural South Fraser Zone Championship game.

MacCubbin is the lone holdover from a team that was bolstered with seven international students. The core of this year’s squad plays at the Division One club level with South Delta United. The Grade 11s happen to be guided by Delta Pacers coach Rob Semler, a Delta Police constable and longtime community coach who has enjoyed plenty of success mentoring boys and girls teams.

The mainly SDU teammates lining up against each other in their school colours resulted in an evenly played match for much of the 70 minutes.

League play continues for the next two weeks, leading up to the South Fraser playoffs where the top four teams from the South and North zones will advance.

“I was very happy with the way the boys played today,” said longtime SDSS coach Stephen Burns, who is once again joined on the sidelines by Brent Sweeney. “This league is going be tough with the Surrey schools you have to deal with. Panorama is again going to be right up there and Elgin Park is fielding a strong team this year too.”

The B.C. AAA Championships are slated for Nov. 25 to 27 in Burnaby.