BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Oct. 3, 2019– On Saturday, September 28, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) staged the championship finals in two of its youth competitions; it was the U-15 Male Inter-District Finals between Orange Walk and Belize District, followed by the U-17 Male Inter-District Finals between Toledo and Belize District. And it was a real treat for the less than capacity filled stadium, as fans witnessed outstanding and heroic performances from some young men who are but a few years away from leading Belize to respect on the international stage.
It was a long time coming, and finally the FFB followed through on its promise, through FIFA funding, to sponsor nation-wide youth football competitions featuring the best talent in all areas of the country, both male and female. The male tournaments got off the ground a couple weeks before the females; and we witnessed the Male U-15 and U-17 Inter-District championship matches on Saturday; the Female Finals will soon follow, as they are presently in their playoff stage.
The rightfully proud FFB executive members were in attendance for the Male Finals and award ceremony on Saturday, led by President Sergio Chuc and including Vice-Presidents Cruz Gamez and Shane Moody Orio, as well as General Secretary Earl Jones and Assistant Gen. Sec. Luis Pena.
In a game that saw Orange Walk jump to a 2-nil lead, Belize twice closed the gap, but Orange Walk eventually prevailed 5-2 for the U-15 Male championship, led by a hat trick from Zamir Bonilla (4’, 15’ & 34’) along with goals from Allen Castillo (48’) and Allison Torres (68’); while Enoch Rhaburn (23’ & 35’) struck twice for Belize to keep the game close in the early going.
Goals were more scarce in the ensueing U-17 Male championship game, but the competition was just as intense. Andres Miranda (1’) proved why he is the leading goal scorer in regular season, pouncing early on a Belize defensive mistake; but he succumbed to cramps some 15 minutes into second half. Belize knotted up the score through Nigel Matus (45+1’) just before the half-time whistle; and a late goal from Shemar Gillett (80’) created by a fine run from super-talented midfielder Eldon Reneau, was enough to secure the 2-1 Belize win for the championship.
Only 4 of the 10 teams that started in each of the U-15 and U-17 Male Inter-District tournaments were on display on Saturday, and for sure there are a few more great young talents in those other 6 teams in each category. The future does look promising for Belize football.
The award ceremony that followed the U-17 Male championship showcased some of the young stars that will likely one day lead our Belize National “A” Team to glory for Belizean fans.
U-15 Male Inter-District Individual Awards: Best Goalkeeper – Edward Humes (Belize); Best Defender – Calvin Reid (Orange Walk); Best Midfielder – Josiel Munoz (Orange Walk); Best Striker – Zamir Bonilla (Orange Walk); Most Goals – Allison Torres (Orange Walk).
U-17 Male Inter-District Individual Awards: Best Goalkeeper – Keemar James (Belize); Best Defender – Wilfredo Torres (Toledo); Best Midfielder – Michael Palacio (Belize); Best Striker – Eldon Reneau (Belize); Most Goals – Andres Miranda (Toledo).
The coaching staffs of the 4 teams that appeared in the Finals on Saturday included: TOLDEO U-17 Male: head coach – Glenford Hines; assistants – Devin Trapp, Charles “Chuck” Gutierrez and Jose Teul; ORANGE WALK U-15 Male: head coach – Orlando Trejo, Sr.; assistants – Orlando Jones, Jasmin Andrades, Manuel Pelayo, Margioni Banos, Oscar Marcelo, Camelia Trejo and Elmer Pott; and BELIZE DISTRICT U-15 Male and U-17 Male: head coach – Tyrone “T-Bone” Muschamp; assistants – Stanley “Jordan” Reneau, Eulalio Coc and Charles Castillo.
Congratulations to all!!