Ateneo de Iloilo High School Footballers settled for a Silver finish in the recently concluded Iloilo Schools Sports Association (ISSA). Headed by Team Captain Francis John Gargarita with able support from fellow veterans Afrio Jon Dorde, Renz Joshua Arbis, Raphael Louis Dela Cruz, and Euan Draeko Homicillada with freshman Under 14 Philippine Team member, Konrad Kiem Sollorin and Goal Keepers Jann Erick Tarol and Joshua Miguel Brazas among others, Team Ateneo breezed past its first two assignments in the elimination round with easy wins against Janiuay based Centerphil Montessori Learning Center and St. Joseph School 10-0 and 8-0 respectively. It was followed by a 3-1 upset victory against erstwhile group leader and long time nemesis Paref-Westbridge School to top Group B. But the celebration was short lived as Jann Erick Tarol, Ateneo’s main goal keeper, suffered a tournament ending shoulder injury.
With this year’s shortened tournament format of which the top team of each Group would directly qualify in the finals, the victory against Westbridge School enabled the Blue Dragons to enter the finals for the first time in its four years of existence in ISSA Football.
But in the winner-take-all championship match against the top team of Group A, defending champion Central Philippine University who boasts of some former Palarong Pambansa Stalwarts, the shorthanded team of Ateneo would only manage to score 1 goal courtesy of an indirect freekick by Freshman Konrad Sollorin. In the end, CPU proved to be the stronger, faster and the more experienced team as Ateneo lost the match 4 goals to 1.
The other members of the Ateneo team are Eric Matthew Borres, Andrew Daniel Sartorio, Luke Gabe’riel Bautista, Ronnie Fadrigo Jr., Chris Gargarita, Karl Daniel Legaspi, Luis Augustine Morente, David Brian Navigar, Anthony Mann, Jeremy Jobert Peñafiel, Kishnerr Matthew Gabales and RJ Pescadera. (by Jose Anselmo Tenorio - Sports Coordinator)