It will be the final chapter in more ways than one when the Tsawwassen Blues and Ladner Celtic begin play this weekend in B.C. Soccer's 63rd annual Coastal Cup Championships.
The U18 Division One sides not only will be concluding outstanding runs through youth soccer, they will be representing their respective clubs one final time with the launch of the merged South Delta United Soccer Club next season.
The Coastal Cup is a single knockout format and features district champions from throughout the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island in the "B" playdowns. There are also some wild card berths available with 16 teams competing in each division. The finalists and typically the third place finisher also advance to the Provincial "B" Cup Championships in early July.
The Coastal "A" Cup features exclusively teams from the Metro Selects League.
The Blues have been a force in the B.C. Coastal Girls Soccer League, advancing to the provincials for the past four years.
Last season was a breakthrough for the girls as they captured their first-ever Coastal Cup with an overtime win over Langley. They went on to finish second at provincials, falling to the Central City Breakers in the final.
They are a good bet to be heading to Penticton again for the B.C. tourney after going unbeaten in the "A" group of the BCCGSL League Cup Championships, including a 3-1 win over North Shore in the final.
The Blues will play nothing but road games as they defend their Coastal Cup crown, starting on Sunday in Maple Ridge against Alouette Albion FC, a Division Three side.
It will be a much sterner test for Celtic as they open boys cup play with a round of 16 match against District 5 regular season champion Chilliwack Attack on Sunday (4 p.m.) at Dugald Morrison Park.
Ladner will be looking for its first win over the Attack in three tries, including a 3-2 loss in penalty kicks in league cup play back in February.
Similar to the Blues, the Celtic have been a force since becoming the first Ladner team to reach the Coastal "A" Cup final at U13.
Even with six players moving onto the B.C. Premier Soccer League and Metro Selects the following season, Ladner still won the Delta District playdowns two years later.
When many of the boys returned to their hometown club at U16, Ladner capped a dominating run by becoming just the second team in the history of Ladner Boys Soccer to win the Coastal "B" Cup.
Celtic went on to capture bronze at the provincials that year. A 2-1 loss to eventual champion Kelowna kept them out of the final.
Last season, Ladner reached the Coastal Cup quarter-finals before bowing out to provincial champion CCB Elite 2-1 in overtime.
Two other local girls teams will also be in action this weekend in the Coastal "B" Cup playdowns.
The U17 Tsawwassen Blues travel to Burnaby Sunday to take on the Impact, while the U15 South Delta Selects head to Port Moody to face the Extreme.
The Ladner-based U14 Delta Coastal Selects will begin boys Coastal "A" Cup play Friday at Holly turf against Burnaby at 7 p.m.