Judging by his performance at the B.C. senior boys AA soccer championships, one thing’s for certain: Gurmaan Jhaj has a flair for the dramatic.
The Aldergrove Community Secondary School striker racked up nine goals in five games, making him the top goal-scorer of the 16-team tournament that ran Nov. 18-20 at the Burnaby Lake Sports Complex.
Jhaj scored six of his goals in the Totems’ final game of the tournament, an 8-0 romp over Richmond’s Hugh McRoberts that secured the ACSS boys with seventh place in B.C.
In the end, the Saint Thomas Aquinas from North Vancouver captured the B.C. title.
The Aquinas edged the defending B.C. champion Okanagan Mission Huskies of Kelowna in penalty kicks to win the championship.
Aldergrove entered the week as Fraser Valley champions and without any losses in the regular season.
The Totems were one of the few top contenders for the trophy but a shootout loss to the Aquinas in a tie-breaker for a spot in the semis buried their hopes to win the provincial championship.
Aldergrove outscored its opponents 16-3 in the five games and a huge contributor to the Totems’ offence was Jhaj, who earned the Golden Boot award as the tournament’s top goal-scorer.
Jhaj, a Grade 12 student, has helped the Totems reach the Fraser Valley finals the past two years and was one of the driving forces behind his team winning this year’s Valley title.
Playing in the High Performance League (HPL) for Magnuson Ford Mariners Abbotsford, Jhaj has been a key player for this team.
Jhaj also helped Abbotsford United Soccer Club (AUSC) win numerous tournaments.
Along with playing soccer at highest level and in community, Jhaj also does coaching sessions with eight- to 12-year-old players on voluntarily basis for Abbotsford’s Indo Pacific Soccer Academy (IPSA) program, run by Ian Knight.
As a 12-year-old, Jhaj was in the Whitecaps Academy program.
Jhaj said he wants kids to play sports and enjoy a healthy lifestyle, and keep themselves active so they can stay away from bad habits, especially drugs and gangs.
Source: Langley Advance