BELIZE CITY, Wed. Dec. 11, 2019– The Future Football Club U-10 & U-13 Little League Football Tournament kicked off on Saturday, October 5, at the ITVET Football Field in Belize City; and this past Saturday, December 7, saw the culmination of the tournament, with third place games in each category preceding the championship games, followed by an awards ceremony.
Special guest for the occasion was legendary Belize City striker, Norman “Tilliman” Nunez/Pipersburgh, who was accompanied by former champion goalkeeper turned coach and now FFB coaching instructor, “Marvellous” Marvin “Hagler” Ottley.
U-10 Champions – Tutbay Yabra FC, coach Albert “Allie” Thurton at back
Six U-10 teams – Future FC, Caesar Ridge, Reality Youths, Poor & Famous, Tutbay Yabra FC, and Belize United; and seven U-13 teams – Future FC, Sports In Education, Caesar Ridge, Belize United, Berger United, Jah Love, and Survivors FC had participated in the competition.
In the U-10 3rd place game, Belize United shut out Caesar Ridge, 4-0, with 3 goals from Antwan Latchman and the other from Diego Dusan. And in the U-13 match for 3rd place, it was Survivors FC, 1-0, over Sports In Education, on a goal by Shawn Pitts.
The U-10 championship game was decided early, as top goal scorer Esmond “Bagga” Sanker struck 3 minutes after kickoff; and Tutbay Yabra FC went on to win, 3-0, over Reality Youths, with 2 goals from Sanker and the other from Tyreek Frazier.
U-10 MVP – Esmond “Bagga” Sanker with the legend, Norman “Tilliman” Nunez
In the U-13 finals, first half ended deadlocked at 1-1, after a long, high lob from Caesar Ridge’s Raymond Gentle went in over the head of little Oswine Guardado in goal for Future FC, and a spectacular free kick from 25 yards by Keedenshay Bowen tied it up for Future FC. However, the second half was dominated by Caesar Ridge, who added 2 goals from Shemar Thomas and 1 from Tom Moguel, to extend the lead to 4-1, before Future FC got another goal, from Albert Thurton, Jr., just before the long whistle, to bring the final score to 4-2.
The post-game awards ceremony commenced with a prayer led by pastor Jeffrey Trapp, followed by the singing of the national anthem, led by master of ceremonies, the great Kenny Morgan, who then thanked the organizer, Edon “Yellowman” Rowley; game officials Evral Dixon, Vallan Symns and Tyrell Rowley; all the players who participated in the tournament, along with their coaches, fans and parents who came out to support their kids; and, of course, the sponsors who made the event possible.
In speaking to the youths gathered for the awards ceremony, Tilliman said he was impressed by the skills displayed by some of the youths, and encouraged them to maintain the spirit of friendship and sportsmanship displayed that afternoon in the years ahead as they grow into young men, so that our community can enjoy peace and harmony and an end to the violence prevailing at this time. Next was Hagler, who reminded the kids that both himself and Tilliman were once in their shoes as young ballers, and reiterated Tillman’s call for them to maintain their friendly relations in the months and years ahead, despite competing against each other in games on the field. Tournament organizer Edon “Yellowman” Rowley then supervised the issuing of medals, trophies and awards, which were handed out by Tilliman.
Aside from big team trophies for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place teams in each category, players from 3rd place teams received bronze medals, 2nd place players got silver medals, and players on the champion teams received individual trophies. Trophies were also given to selected players for Individual Awards as follows:
U-10 Individual Awards: Best Goalkeeper – Zahir Martin (Tutbay Yabra FC); Best Defender – Dennis Nunez (Reality Youths); Best Midfielder – Antwan Latchman (Belize United); Best Forward – Gilygion Nunez (Reality Youths); Most Goals – Esmond Sanker (Tutbay Yabra FC); MVP – Esmond Sanker (Tutbay Yabra FC); and Best Coach – Albert “Allie” Thurton.
U-13 Individual Awards: Best Goalkeeper – Tyrone Alvarez (Survivors FC); Best Defender – Albert Thurton (Future FC); Best Midfielder – Tayshawn Broaster (Survivors FC); Best Forward – Keedenshay Bowen (Future FC); Most Goals – Tishawn Gillett (Survivors FC); MVP – Shemar Thomas (Caesar Ridge); and Best Coach – Elmer Rhaburn.
(L-R) U-10 Best Midfielder – Antwan Latchman of Belize United, U-10 Best Defender – Dennis Nunez of Reality Youths, U-13 MVP – Shemar Thomas of Caesar Ridge, U-13 Best Forward – Keedenshay Bowen of Future and U-13 Best Defender – Albert Thurton, Jr. of Future FC
**** Future Football Club is extending a warm Thank You to all the sponsors that contributed in making the Second Future Football Club Little League U-10 & U-13 Football Tournament 2019 a success. The sponsors are SOL Belize Ltd., Simon Quan Ltd., Belize Bank Ltd., Belize Electricity Ltd., Belize Airport Concession Company Ltd., Belize City Council, Aquatic Water, Dave’s AC World, Habet & Habet – Cemetery Road, Phillipa Sebastian Cadle, Sylvian Lyons, Belize Police Department, and Freetown Drug Store.
(Information courtesy Mrs. Barbara Cadle Lanza, Bze. Dist. Sports Coordinator, NSC)
Feature photo: U-13 Champions – Caesar Ridge, coach Elmer Rhaburn on far right