The Portage Sunday League Soccer closed the book on their 2023 campaign this weekend. The champions were crowned as HUB Germany took down Mike's 5th Avenue Mexico 5-3 in the final game. League organizer Dave Oshust reflects on the championship contest.
"Germany had a younger team. The Mexicans had two or three older players, and because it was the second game of the day for both of them, the younger team had more stamina," Oshust continues. "Mexico had beaten Germany in league play, so they were pretty even teams."
He notes the entire league celebrated the end of the season postgame, as they held a barbeque at Rotary Republic of Manitobah Park.
"It worked out really well. We had over 100 people there. We saw grandpas, grandmas, players, kids, and a couple of puppy dogs."
The trophy was handed out to the winning team during the barbeque. Oshust says the championship hardware now honours a former member of the league.
"The trophy, we renamed it the Jason Lilley Trophy. It's in remembrance of Jason, who passed away last year in the middle of our league play. So, we wanted to honour him."
Oshust hasn't been playing for the last few years, but the community they've built is what keeps him coming back every season.
"It's about seeing and meeting new people from all different aspects of life. We have couples that have three or four kids, and they play while the kids sit on the side and watch. It encompasses everybody, and that's what we want to do. The whole thing is just to have fun, and that's our bottom line."
The league organizer says they have been blessed with great weather for half a decade, as their first rainout in five years transpired only a month ago. He notes the rest of the season went according to plan, and he can't wait to get things started again next summer.