By RENALDO DORSETT
IN the Bahamas’ first appearance at the Major Beach Soccer Championships, Quality Beach Soccer Club delivered a series of encouraging performances against some of the most notable teams in the region.
Both the men’s and women’s teams were able to score one in the win column at the 2013 Major Beach Soccer Championship, hosted in Clearwater, Florida, last weekend.
The men’s team included QBSC founders Christopher Davis and Ehren Hanna along with Mark Daniels, Dwayne Forbes, Gary Joseph, Daron Beneby, Michael Bethel, Gavin Christie, and Valin Bodie. Julian Smith acted as player/coach while Nathaniel Higgs served as manager.
Team Bahamas finished with a 1-2 win loss record over the course of the two-day tournament. They opened competition with a 2-1 loss to the Flying Kicks with Bethel as the lone goal scorer for the Bahamas.
In game two, they lost 3-2 to Team Calvary Chapel with Joseph and Christie as the goal scorers.
Both the Flying Kicks and Team Calvary included players from Senegal, Germany, Brazil and several former US national team players. They claimed a win the following day with a 4-0 shutout over the Tampa Bay Bud Soccer Club.
Hanna scored twice while Bethel and Christie also added goals.
The women’s team included Christabelle Izevbizua, Arnette Charles, Shagerra Edgecombe, Janae Francis, Ashley Stubbs, D’nae Capron, Ka’Niska Hanna, Tara Armbrister, Andrecia Saunders and Daria Adderley. The team was coached by Lashane Dean, with Philencia Harris and Mia Campbell as Managers.
The team finished with a 1-1-2 record among the five teams. They achieved immediate success on the sand with a 4-2 win in their opener against the Sand Fleas. Edgecombe scored two goals while Stubbs and Capron added the others. In the second game of the afternoon they played to a 0-0 draw against the Palm Beach Riptide.
The following day, they suffered a 5-0 loss at the hands of IABS and, in their final game, played to a 2-2 draw against eventual champion Lakeland Realty.
Edgecombe and Armbrister were goal scorers for the QBSC in their finale.
Lakeland Reality claimed the Women’s Open championship, and La ‘U’ won the Men’s Open Division to lead the champions across six divisions.
According to its website, the Major Beach Soccer organisation was created by United Soccer League’s technical director Peter Mellor. They have hosted events which have been described as “a fixture on Florida beaches for the past 23 years.”
Participation in the Major Beach Soccer Championships is just one of the milestones set by the group. “Since last December we have actually taken Quality Beach Soccer into expansion. We have now officially become a club, the first and only beach soccer club in the Bahamas. We have a men’s team, a women’s team and a youth academy,” Hanna said.
“It has been a lot going on behind the scenes. We are getting things organised and one thing we have come to the realisation that we are the premier team now in the country because there is no team that has ranked as high as us right now after the World Cup qualifier. We are ranked first in the Caribbean, the No.1 team and it took us only four years to get there. We have been making major steps and right now people are seeing the major potential in the sport, especially in the soccer community.
“Just the mere fact that we are able to make such a big accomplishment in such a short period of time should tell you that the sport has potential and it is something people should consider doing. Right now we are in the expanding stage and ultimately trying to become the first Bahamian-based professional team.”
He added that the group could not prosper as it has without the generous support of all of the sponsors and the caring community that has assisted in its growth.
Group sponsors include the Bahamas Football Association, Bonds Cay, Grant Thornton, Xpress it, Heavy Marine Foundations, Delucci, Tony Joudi, Physicians Alliance, Sun Oil Ltd, LNG (kyle), Palmdale Optical, Bahamas Orthodontic Centre, 5ive Star Snorkeling, Davis & Co, Insurance Management, Bahamian Paint, Ehren’s Barber Supply, Mogul, Home and Away, Bahamas Equity Trust, Stale-O-Force Pictures.