The 3rd annual SDSC (Sudbury District Sport Club) Co-Ed Soccer Tournament is set to go this coming weekend, and few teams, if any, are likely to attract more attention than the SDSC Celtic crew.
And while player/organizer Roberto Bagnato would be thrilled if the spotlight shines on his team because of their on-field performance, he and his mates will be just fine if their attire is moreso the topic of conversation.
Themed in tandem with the tournament itself, the Celtic will be donning their pink jerseys in support of breast cancer research and awareness, the same cause that will be the primary recipient of this fundraising event.
It's nothing if not ironic that it is the Celtic squad who would become the flagbearers for the cause, given the way the roster was assembled. "We kind of put this team together with the league," explained Bagnato.
"I signed up, initially, with a couple of my friends, guys that were on our Lockerby (Vikings) high-school team, almost as free agents. With the help of (league organizer) Jim Cress, we kind of formed a team."
"A lot of it was just sort of "I know somebody who wants to play and get back into it". It would bring one person out, which turns into two people, which turns into three people. It's almost like the Vegas Golden Knights effect."
In more ways than one, it would seem. Despite a relative lack of familiarity within the lineup, the Celtic have muddled their way into first place in league standings, a testament to the whole being greater that the sum of the parts.
"We don't really have a star on the team," said Bagnato. "Our highest level player would be Matt Dykstra, he's the only only with university or college experience. But we have a lot of people that love the game and love to play as a team. It's a very selfless team. They don't mind giving up the ball to let someone else score."
And while the early season results may have bumped up the bar of expectations, just a smidge or two, Bagnato and company are weary of getting too carried away with their success to date.
"It's recreational soccer, so we're out there to have fun and get a good sweat going," he said. "We'll play three games on Saturday, see how it goes, have a good time at the tournament and look good in pink at the same time, and go from there. It's a pretty good opportunity to raise some funds for a pretty important cause."
The tournament, which has attracted a field of twelve teams, including an entry from Huntsville, is set to kickoff Saturday morning at 9:45 a.m. at the Howard Armstrong Sports Complex in Hanmer.
In addition to the donations being accepted in support of breast cancer research and awareness, the event will also welcome the folks from Independent Living Sudbury Manitoulin (ILSM), on hand with their sausage cart for the second straight year and raising funds for their not-for-profit group.
The finals are scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. For further information, visit the SDSC website at "www.sdsc.club".