William S. Reyes Elementary School clinched its first boys championship in the NMIFA U12 Interscholastic League after beating Gregorio T. Camacho Elementary School in the finals, 2-1, yesterday at the Garapan Elementary School Field.
Shakobe Rangamar scored the pair of goals for the Kingfishers to dethrone GTC and avenge their 0-2 loss to the Binadus last season. Rangamar got his first goal in the 10th minute of the opening frame and then made the second one three minutes before the title game ended. The finals and the rest of the games in the IFL were played in two 30-minute halves.
GTC, which tied the match in the first half off Joshua De Leon's goal in the 14th minute, had another opportunity to equalize in the final two minutes of the game, but the shot of one of its strikers hit the right goal post and WSR defenders scrambled to kick the ball out.
With its close win, WSR was awarded the perpetual trophy, while GTC received the runner-up plum from Northern Mariana Islands Football Association general secretary Edward Salas.
The newly crowned champion, which had its name put in the perpetual trophy alongside Koblerville Elementary School (2008 champion), Saipan Community School (2009 and 2010), and GTC (2011), is coached by Melissa Dickinson and Ray Aguon. The Kingfishers are composed of Emanuel Aniana, Albert Bergancia, Jang Bunusek, Eui Jin Byen, Jonathan Capayas, Spencer Dickinson, Delon Duenas, Freddie Guerro, Cody Leon, Andruw Omelau, Rico Reyes, and Glen Taro.
Besides GTC and WSR, seven other schools joined this year's U12 league. Teams were divided into two groups with San Antonio Elementary School leading the Southern Division after earning a perfect 4-0-0 win-draw-loss record in the round-robin elimination. WSR finished second with its 2-1-1 slate, followed by San Vicente Elementary School (1-2-1), Koblerville (0-2-2), and Dandan Elementary School (0-1-3).
Garapan Elementary School topped the Northern Division with its flawless 4-0-0 mark, while GTC placed second with its 2-0-1 tally. Oleai Elementary School (1-0-2) and Kagman Elementary School (0-0-3) completed the field.
Only the Top 2 teams in each group advanced into the playoffs and qualifiers played in another round-robin format to determine the two finalists. GTC went on to win the first finals berth after posting a 2-0-1 card in the playoffs. Garapan and WSR tied for second with their similar 1-1-1 slate, but the latter won the tiebreak, as it defeated the former in their playoff match on Dec. 6, 2-1. Southern Division top finisher San Antonio fell short on its finals bid after failing to win a single game in the playoffs and settling for two draws and one loss.
Meanwhile, WSR and GTC also battled in the girls U12 finale yesterday afternoon and results of the match will be reported in Saipan Tribune's Monday edition. (Saipan Tribune)