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Panhellenic Soccer Update

In an effort to provide a more consistent approach to offering coverage for the wide variety of sports that are highlighted on, we've decided to include a new feature. Weekly and bi-weekly divisional or league updates will offer a wide array of statistical tidbits, roster updates, tournament results for participating teams. The Panhellenic Soccer Club will be featured every Wednesday - next update is July 23rd

Panhellenic U-21 men

Another successful weekend for the Panhellenic U-21 men who improve to 8-1-1 in OSL (Ontario Soccer League) play and also manage to take the next step on the road to a berth in the Ontario Cup final. Saturday afternoon at home, the locals downed Kleinburg-Nobleton 3-2 and now hold a two-point edge over Oshawa Turul in league standings with one game in hand.

Goals from Nick O'Bumsawin, Adam Bignucolo and Brent Huffels lifted Panhellenic past Kleinburg as the team have put themselves in solid position, with just six league games remaining, to walk away with top spot in the OSL Central Region Under-21 division this year. The team then followed with one of their strongest efforts of the year, slipping past the Guelph Royals 2-1 in third round Ontario Cup play.

Adam Bignucolo and Trevor Beange scored for Sudbury, propelling the team to a quarter-final match against the Gloucester Hornets. Panhellenic will welcome the Hornets to the James Jerome Complex this Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. (July 20th).

The Panhellenic U-21 lineup this summer features: Adam Bignucolo, Anthony Galic, Brent Huffels, Dale Pidutti, David Hysen, Derek Huffels, Derek Lang, Eric Southward, Joel Cropp, Jonathan Hussak, Jordan Courchesne, Justin Guay, Kevin Boyle, Kevin Sanderson, Luis Parada, Matt Ansell, Nick O'Bumsawin, Steve Rachkowski, Trevor Beange and Neil Petrin.

Panhellenic Spitfire U-13 Boys

It's quite likely the longest road trip this young soccer team will experience as the Panhellenic Spitfire U-13 boys make the trek to Thunder Bay this weekend for their first taste of NRSL (Northern Region Soccer League) play. The team will face the host team and New Liskeard for two games apiece as three of the four NRSL U-13 boys squads see action this weekend.

Sudbury Panhellenic will play host to a six-game set of their own on the weekend of August 16th and 17th. And a quick correction to a note made in an earlier article regarding the Spitfire - the team which captures the 2008 title for this division will earn an automatic berth in to the Central Soccer League (CSL) based on the fact that the NRSL features a division of four team. Single challenge game matches are required when the NRSL houses divisions of anywhere from one to three teams.

The 2008 edition of the Spitfire roster includes: Matt Bertuzzi, Brad Williams, John Hick, Sebastien Dugas-Ruest, Grayden Henschel, Zach Gallo, Aaron Dent, Eric St. Denis, Konrad Gorski, Akshay Varghese, Walter Kosher, Marshall Zeman, Austin Hodkinson, Jay Lemon, Cam Lapienis, Matthew Walker and Dominique Girard.

Panhellenic United U-17 Boys

The most successful competitive youth boys team in Sudbury in recent memory has been flying under the radar somewhat this year. In part, this is merely a function of the fact that with every passing summer, the challenge to keep local soccer talent motivated enough to balance their dedication to the sport with the increasing responsibilities of summer jobs, academic pursuits and various other interests becomes more and more difficult.

With two very successful years of CSL (Central Soccer League) play already to their credit, Panhellenic United, under coaches Clive Stephenson and Dave Lepage, find themselves in the eight team U-17 division this year. Six games in, the Sudbury side sport a record of 1-4-1, although this includes tough losses to the Scarborough Blizzard (1-0) and Oshawa Turul (3-1) as well as a 4-4 draw with the Oak Ridges Knights in a game that would see United squander an early lead.

The core of the team remains much the same - strikers Joey Martellacci and Dorian Manchulenko, midfielders Mark Bamberger, Owen Montpellier, Stephane Jacques, Brian Hennessy, Justin Lariviere and Tomi Pollard, keeper Thomas Guscott and a back-end that includes the likes of Jordan Sovran, Zsolt Kocsis, Kersey Kalubi and Colin Loney.

But defensive stalwart Josh Haslam has now made the move to summer football and Sooite Cory Vial finally had to back away from the endless travel requirements, although he did join up with his ex-mates for tournament action earlier this year. Watching a recent competitive game alongside multi-sport talent Joey Martellacci, the dilemna for these teens becomes clear.

In the case of the city's most talented running back, the lure of football is ever-present. Acknowledging the thought of taking to the gridiron for the May to August period has certainly crossed his mind, Martellacci is just as quick to point out that the United crew could easily be sitting 3-3 with a little more luck on their side. His first sporting love to the world's most popular game is not about to die quickly.

Panhellenic embark on their final stretch of eight games, five of which are at home, beginning this weekend when they face second place Vaughan Azzuri Saturday at 1:00 p.m. at James Jerome Complex. According to Stephenson, the confidence remains high within the troops that they can remain more than competitive against the Azzuri, a team which blanked the locals 3-0 in the season opener and sports a record of 5-2-1.

United are currently tied for sixth place with both the Toronto Eagles and East York Vipers, with all three teams sitting with four points. Finishing ahead of both teams would ensure that Stephenson and company would avoid relegation for one more year. Of course, there may not be enough bodies remaining come this time next summer to ensure a Sudbury entry into the final year of the youth competitive soccer ranks. But that's a problem that Stephenson, Lepage and a host of very dedicated young athletes would gladly tackle head on.

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