Unicorns ready to hit JulyFest pitch

Local men's soccer team hoping to make a run at the championship this year.

Though a few players are missing

Though a few players are missing

Mythical creatures will roam the soccer fields during JulyFest in Kimberley this weekend.

Donning jerseys of unicorns and narwhals, Cranbrook will have a few teams in the action, battling 60 other teams for a chance to earn bragging rights as the best of the Fest.

AJ Wheaton, who has been on Cranbrook teams for years in JulyFest, is heading up Unicorns FC, the men’s squad that will be vying for the championship.

Kaytee Wheaton, his sister, will be heading up the Narwals, a girls team made up of local talent.

The brainchild of Pat Murphy, the Unicorns first took to the field four years ago at a JulyFest tournament.

A Cranbrook or Kimberley team hasn’t won the tournament since 1997, but the Unicorns FC squad did reach the semifinal last year, and is hoping to make it a little deeper this time.

The team features a few standouts such as Chris Rushworth, who played college soccer with Lethbridge College, along with Jeff Hamm and Jake Walmsley played on SAIT’s footie squad.

The Unicorns will be in tough right off the bat, taking on the Montana Rapids—the same squad that downed them in the semifinals last year.

“We play against the champions from last year in our first game, so that’s going to be rough, but it’s going to be exciting,” said Wheaton. “…We’re excited to play them again, a little revenge I think. Everyone’s definitely geared up for it.”

The Unicorns FC have been fielding a team for the last four years, but before that, they were known as the Rovers.

The brainchild of Pat Murphy, the Unicorns are also starting to branch out and play tournaments in Montana and the Okanagan, in addition to their annual appearance at JulyFest.

A schedule of all games and field locations can be found by visiting the tournament website at: www.julyfestsoccer.com/