It was jam-packed at the Kanana Fou Theological Seminary field for the kickoff of the 2017 FFAS Private Elementary Schools Soccer League, with almost every part of the venue full of parents, families and players on Tuesday, Oct. 17.
This is the seventh year of the private elementary schools’ annual soccer league, and it is slated to end November 21, the week of Thanksgiving Day. . The usual eight private elementary schools are competing again — Iakina Adventist Academy, Kanana Fou, Marist St. Francis, Pacific Horizons School, Peteli Academy, St. Theresa, Samoa Baptist Academy and South Pacific Academy.
“This competition just keeps growing and growing every year, and it looks like a great start with how full it was at Kanana Fou,” said FFAS President, Faiivae Iuli Alex Godinet.
A new wrinkle has been added to this year’s competition, following last year’s introduction of Grades 1 and 2.
The grade levels have been split into four different categories, with two levels per division. The divisions are Grades 1 & 2 (co-ed), Grades 3 & 4 (co-ed), Grades 5 & 6 and Grades 7 & 8.
Levels 1 & 2, 3 & 4 is non-competitive, and a 5-a-side competition. After taking a long and hard look at the makeup of the competition, the FFAS office decided to reorganize it into two levels per division. This was to ensure that the older grade students would not dominate the young ones, such as comparing an eighth grader to a sixth, or fifth to a third grader. Once it was presented to the elementary schools and agree upon, the reorganization went underway.
“We wanted to have the students much closer to one another in terms of ages get their fare share of time playing so that they can develop and improve their motor skills, as well as technical abilities,” said FFAS CEO Tavita Taumua. “We believe this will make the competition much more enjoyable for all the players.”
There are 12 teams in the Grades 1 & 2 division — Iakina, Kanana Fou A, Kanana Fou B, Pacific Horizons, Peteli Academy A, Peteli Academy B, St. Theresa, SBA A, SBA B, SBA C, SPA A and SPA B.
Levels 3 & 4 division teams are — Iakina, Kanana Fou A, Kanana Fou B, Pacific Horizons, Peteli Academy A, Peteli Academy B, St. Theresa, SBA A, SBA B, SPA A and SPA B for a total of 11.
The levels 5 & 6, 7 & 8 competitions are for separate boys and girls categories, and are competitive with a points system, followed by playoffs to determine each division’s champion. Points are three for a win, one for a draw and zero for a loss. Format for the level 5 & 6 division is a 5-a-side, while the 7th and 8th graders are competing in a 7-a-configuration.
Competing in the Girls’ Grades 5 & 6 are Iakina, Kanana Fou, Marist St. Francis, Pacific Horizons, Peteli Academy A, Petelia Academy B, St. Theresa, SBA. The boys’ Grades 5 & 6 teams are Iakina, Marist St. Francis, Kanana Fou, Pacific Horizons, Peteli Academy A, Peteli Academy B, St. Theresa, SBA, SPA A and SPA B.
In the Girls’ Grades 7 & 8, the teams are Iakina, Marist St. Francis, Kanana Fou, St. Theresa, SBA and SPA. There are nine teams in the boys division of this age group — Iakina, Marist St. Francis, Kanana Fou A, Kanana Fou B, Pacific Horizons, Peteli Academy, St. Theresa, SBA and SPA.
“Once again our association would like to thank CCCAS chairman, Rev. Elder Eveni Mamoe, General Secretary Ioelu Onesemo, and the theological seminary president, Rev. Dr. Moreli Niuatoa, for their continued support of our private elementary schools soccer league,” Taumua pointed out. “They have continually allowed us to use their field for this competition, and are also have their theological students help out during the game is a big help to us as league organizers.
“Every year’s competition is a success, and this year looks to be no different because of all the different elements and organizations involved in it, especially that of CCCAS and the Kanana Fou Theological Seminary.”