Three Blind Refs Tournament Stephan splits soccer duties

Print Article

  • FC Missoula Frenchtown Black 2001B-CL's Aaron Stanicar, left, and Flathead Valley United Green 2002 B-PR's Jalen Hawes battle for a header at The Buffalo Wild Wings 3 Blind Refs Tournament at Kidsports Complex on Saturday. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

  • 1

    Flathead Valley United Green 2002 B-PR's Daniel Camp, right, celebrates with teammate Jalen Hawes after Camp scored a goal in the first half against FC Missoula Frenchtown Black 2001B-CL at The Buffalo Wild Wings 3 Blind Refs Tournament at Kidsports Complex on Saturday. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

  • FC Missoula Frenchtown Black 2001B-CL's Aaron Stanicar, left, and Flathead Valley United Green 2002 B-PR's Jalen Hawes battle for a header at The Buffalo Wild Wings 3 Blind Refs Tournament at Kidsports Complex on Saturday. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

  • 1

    Flathead Valley United Green 2002 B-PR's Daniel Camp, right, celebrates with teammate Jalen Hawes after Camp scored a goal in the first half against FC Missoula Frenchtown Black 2001B-CL at The Buffalo Wild Wings 3 Blind Refs Tournament at Kidsports Complex on Saturday. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

After a rough start and then dealing with some adversity later on, the day closed on a much better than expected note for the Flathead Force Green 08 boys soccer team at the Three Blind Refs Tournament.

Sammy Creer finished one of his team’s rare second-half scoring opportunities as time was running out with a nice touch-shot from the right side that he buried into the lower corner of the net to give the Force a 3-3 tie with the Sting Timbers of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, on Saturday afternoon at Kidsports Complex.

The Force held a 2-1 edge at the half on goals by Gavin Tyron and Liam Breding, but the Timbers dominated play in the final half with the wind at their backs and capitalized twice for a 3-2 advantage.

Scoring for the Timbers were Milo Grieble, Reece Crawford and Preston Samoyoa.

The Force was thoroughly outplayed in its opener, however, falling to Calgary 9-1.

“That tie was good for them, for their confidence and morale,” Force coach Mike Stephan said.

“It was in the last minute (game-tying score).

“The wind plays a big factor with this age group.”

Other than the steady gusts all-day long, sunny skies and cool temperatures made for a tolerable day on the pitch for the 132 participating teams, boys and girls ages U9 to U19 from three states and two Canadian provinces, in the 25th edition of this event.

The tie also finished off a busy day of coaching for Stephan. His Flathead Force 09 boys went 2-0 by beating the Sting 7-5 and the Missoula Strikers Black 4-1.

His 9-year-old son Madrid Stephan scored two goals in each game for the Force.

“I don’t know,” he said of how many coaches at this tournament were coaching two teams the same day. “Just me as far as I know. I’m crazy enough to do it. I love both teams, all the kids, they’re awesome.”

Stephan says he’s able to pull off his double-sideline activities with the help of two great assistant coaches.

“Between us three (coaches) we have 20 kids,” he said for practices. “We place them in three groups and play a lot of games, dribbling games, passing games.

“I’ve coached a lot of these kids for two, three years,” he continued.

“It’s been fun to watch their progress and to see how much they love the game.”

Both his teams will have at least one test today, when play resumes at 8 a.m. The championship matches, in all divisions, take place at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m.

Stephan’s other two children — 11-year-old Mikail and 12-year-old Mia — are also playing in this tournament on Force teams.

“I get to see them play sometimes, most all the time,” he said of splitting his coaching and fan duties on Saturday.

“This is special for me because I played in the first Three Blind Refs,” he said.

“Pretty crazy.”

Stephan was 13 back then and played for the Flathead Force. The tournament was held at the soccer fields on Airport Road.

“I don’t remember it very well, but I was there,” he said.

“It’s pretty unreal, good to see,” he said of how this event has expanded over the years.

“Teams from Calgary, Coeur d’Alene ... getting the competition here is awesome.”

This was the second tournament of the season for his two Force squads. Both were in Helena last weekend with the Force 09 placing second. Madrid Stephan scored 10 goals in that tournament.

Mike Stephan was an all-conference soccer player at Polson High School. He later played at Flathead Valley Community College.

There will be more soccer action at Kidsports Complex this weekend with the Montana State Cup. That event is the finale for the spring season.

Play will begin Friday and end Sunday.

More than 100 teams will be competing in U13-U19 age divisions from Billings, Butte, Bozeman, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, Missoula and Whitefish.

The Montana State Cup was in Billings last year.

Print Article

Read More Local Sports

Legion Baseball Glacier Twins A lose to Cody, beat Belgrade

June 16, 2018 at 6:00 am | Daily Inter Lake BELGRADE — The day ended on a sour note for the Glacier Twins A at the Belgrade American Legion baseball tournament Saturday evening. Glacier, who had won two straight tournament games after a fir...

Comments

Read More

MCA Coach of Year awards for Loeffler, Deck, Hislop

June 13, 2018 at 9:25 pm | Daily Inter Lake The Montana Coaches Association has announced that Sue Loeffler of Bigfork (girls track), Arron Deck of Glacier (boys track) and Bob Hislop of Polson (girls tennis) have been named MCA Coach of Yea...

Comments

Read More

American Legion A Baseball Red Sox trip Lakers twice

June 12, 2018 at 6:00 am | Daily Inter Lake It was a rough night on the diamond for the Kalispell Lakers A American Legion baseball team Tuesday at Griffin Field. The Bitterroot Red Sox A used a strong pitching performance by two hurlers to...

Comments

Read More

Pitching powers Lakers sweep of Med Hat

June 09, 2018 at 6:00 am | Daily Inter Lake Sam Elliott tossed a 1-hitter and Drew Scherrer allowed four hits as the Kalispell Lakers AA swept an American Legion baseball doubleheader from Medicine Hat AA on Saturday evening at Griffin Field...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

News: (406) 837-5131
Advertising: 406-758-4410
Bigfork Eagle
c/o Daily Inter Lake
PO Box 7610
Kalispell, MT 59904

©2018 Bigfork Eagle Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X