The late Bob Ross could and did talk soccer for hours when he coached youth and men’s teams in Vernon.
Ross died in 2014, but his legacy lives on at MacDonald Park, where he spent a good portion of his life.
Bob Ross FC of Vernon brushed back the LWO Legends of Salmon Arm 3-1 in a fast-paced men’s 35+ final Monday afternoon at Mac Park
Bob’s sons, Graham and Don, joined North Enderby Timber alumni who played for Bob sometime in their careers. Chris Ovens organized the team after scrounging for guys last year. Don Ross bought the jerseys and added a special patch on the front in his father’s honour.
“It’s awesome. I loved it. It was a surprise for me last year and Chris went ahead and did this,” said Graham. “He wanted it an annual thing. Most of the guys had played for my dad. There was lots of swearing and the guys had some good quotes from my dad, some that I can’t say. He would have liked we came out here.
“Our depth. I think we had the best team by far, at every position. Everybody knows how to play and move the ball around. We got guys coming in next year like Jesse Knight and Brent Poulsen so we’ll be going for a while.”
Bryce Marshall scored for Bob Ross FC in the 15th minute of the final, knocking in a rebound after towering striker Kevin Gaull struck the crossbar.
Graham Ross delivered an all-planet back heel flick at centre field for Gaull, creating a breech in the defence for the 2-0 goal, in the 45th minute.
Jeff Nice buried a rebound off a Tim Goward blast for the third goal.
Salmon Arm fullback Ben Stauchfield replied in the dying mintues for the Legends, who got all-star goalkeeping from Coolio.
Andres Anderson, a former d-man with the Western Hockey League Moose Jaw Warriors, was in net for Vernon.
In round-robin action, the Bob Ross crew shut down Lethbridge 3-0 on two goals from Morgan Marrs and one from Gaull.
Marrs counted a deuce and singles came from Ryan Lilburn, Marshall and Neil Aven in a 5-0 ambushing of Calgary Lads.
Gaull pulled the hat trick in a 6-3 win over Edmonton. Vernon took home $500, Salmon Arm $300. Calgary Lads banked $200 for third place.
The Bob Ross FC also received the prestigious George Stein Memorial Triple S Award for service, skill and sportsmanship.
Stein and the late Fred Mann jumpstarted youth soccer in Vernon and constructed the original clubhouse at MacDonald Park.
Bayern Moody of Port Moody clipped the Okanagan Kickers of Vernon-Kelowna 2-1 in the men’s 55 final Monday morning at Marshall Field.
Simon Pandlebury scored for the Kickers, who used the tournament as a warm-up for the 2017 World Masters Games in New Zealand.
The Kickers got four goals from Matt Cherrille in a 10-0 whitewashing of the Calgary Eagles in their opener.
The Kickers then grounded Prince George 2-0, bounced Brandt’s Creek Pub of Kelowna 2-1 and upended the Edmonton Strikers 4-1.
The men’s 50+ title went to Piva Financial of Kamloops, while Mission took the 40+ and LLFC won the 45+ cash.
The Okanagan Oldtimers topped the men’s 60+ crown.
Shelly Johnston, Wendy Stephens, Sue Barss and the NOU women’s team drew major props for running the tournament which had a successful dance Sunday night at the rec centre.