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THE VANCOUVER COURIER FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011

sports & recreation

Seventeen-year-old praised for intelligence on the field

Magee’s McEown a soccer natural Megan Stewart

Staff writer

On and off the ball, J.B. McEown can turn straightforward, even predictable possession into dramatic, fastpaced action. The entertaining 17year-old Magee centre fielder, whose initials stand for John Brendan, leads his high school team with nine goals and is thoughtful enough to credit his teammates in his success. “We all work together really well, especially in the midfield,” he said last week after scoring two goals to lead the Lions to a 3-2 victory in the city championships. “For some reason, I just always ended up on the right end and in front of the net.” It might be modesty, but finding the ball in front of the net is not just a talent of McEown’s clever teammates but also a mark of his natural strengths. In one city playoff game, McEown played keep away from defenders. He relied on the strikers ahead of him and wingers to the outside, but as the attack moved over the half line, McEown raced forward and showed for a pass. He then beat two defenders, broke left and shot from outside the 18-yard box. He created the one-man challenge, which was threatening and exciting. “He’s got great skill but his biggest asset is his ability to find space,” said Pete Brion, the head coach of the

“HE KNOWS WHERE TO GO BEFORE OTHER PLAYERS KNOW THAT HE’S THERE.” Coach Fred Gault

Point Grey Greyhounds, a West Side high school competing against Magee this week for one of three berths to the provincial tournament. “His intelligence away from the ball is his biggest strength.” Defending McEown, who plays in the B.C. High Performance League, requires parallel smarts, said Brion. “What you want to do with a player like that is you want to shut him down. And guys need to be aware of where he is. It’s easy to say that but sometimes it’s hard to do.” “He knows where to go before other players know that he’s there,” said McEown’s head coach at Magee, Fred Gault. “It’s not something you can teach. You either have it or you don’t. You can hone it by playing with the best, which he’s done, but really that’s an innate skill.” mstewart@vancourier.com Twitter: @MHStewart

Magee Lion J.B. McEown also plays in the B.C. High Perforphoto Dan Toulgoet mance League.

St. George’s Saints, Magee Lions advanced to second round Megan Stewart Staff writer

Kitsilano and Saint George’s duked it out Tuesday in the opening round of the AAA senior boys soccer zone tournament, drawing even after 90 minutes and another 15 minutes of overtime. Goaltending heroics by Kits Blue Demon Torin O’Regan and Saint Kirk Bonnis kept the game intense and tied at 2-2. Kitsilano’s two goals came from Acil Amrani and Taylor Guerin. St. George’s points came from Brendan Catliff followed by Mohammad Kashanipour in the last five minutes of regular time. In the shootout, Bonnis stopped one Kitsilano shot and another sailed wide. The Saints shooters put four shots past O’Regan for the win. St. George’s and Magee adKitsilano keeper Torin O’Regan stonewalls St. George’s forward Ben Daly vanced to the second round of (centre) as defender Markiian Kostjuk does his part Nov. 1. The Saints beat the double-knockout, played Kits 3-2 in a shootout. photo Dan Toulgoet Thursday, in addition to Rich-

mond’s McMath and McNair. On Tuesday, Magee shutout Winston Churchill in a close 1-0 game. Point Grey fell to McNair 2-1. Vancouver Technical couldn’t get on the board against McMath in a 5-0 loss in Richmond. Magee played McMath at 3:30 Thursday at Memorial Park at the same time as McNair visited St. George’s. Results weren’t known before the Courier’s print deadline. Visit vancourier. com/sports for results. When Magee played McMath earlier this year, the Richmond school came out on top 4-0. As last year’s zone championship, they are the No. 1 ranked Richmond school and finished third at Provincials last year. The championship game is set for Nov. 8. Three teams advance to provincials in Burnaby, Nov. 24 to 26. mstewart@vancourier.com Twitter: @MHStewart

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Vancouver Courier November 4 2011  

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