With the snow falling and the wind blowing, many people will be looking to stay indoors over the Christmas holidays. However, kids under 14 and 16 years old can still be indoors while playing some competitive soccer.
The second annual JJ Soccer Umbro Christmas Cup is just around the corner and registration wraps up this Saturday.
“We are seeing a real big push right now on local soccer. We are getting a lot of people involved locally and staying in this town,” said organizer Jason Jones. “I think it is evident that we have some good local talent in town, especially when we joined up with the co-ed division.”
The co-ed tournament will be played at the FieldHouse from Dec. 27-30 with a guaranteed three games and maybe four games if four teams are entered. Right now, Jones has one and half teams registered and are hoping to fill two or more teams. Last year there were two teams and had a three game playdown.
“We are just trying to grow it a little bit,” said Jones. “If we can get three teams, I would be happy, but if we get four, that would be fantastic.”
Athletes born from 1997-2000 is open to register and teams will have an equal number of boys and girls. Registration is $85 per player, which gets them a training session on Dec. 27 and guaranteed three games as well as a jersey.
“What we did last year, which worked out just fantastic is we drew the players onto their teams based on birth year. So, there was an equal representation on every team,” explained Jones. “It is nice instead of having teams register, we can put good individuals on different teams and see some really good soccer in this city.”
Even though the Umbro Cup will be held during the festive season, Jones encourages family members to come out and cheer on the players. He also believes that having players register as individuals encourages more competitive, but friendly play.
“There is such a big part of soccer that some people have missed out on when they have gone away and gone to other cities...the social component. People enjoy playing with and against their friends at a high level and then hang out after playing,” he explained. “If you have family from out of town, they can come watch and make a spectacle of the whole thing. That’s one of the things I like about local soccer is that you get family members come out and watch the players. It is nice to have that type of environment of large crowds.”
For those interested in the Umbro Cup, can contact Jones at 630-4741 or email@example.com