Doug Everhart, the Tournament Coordinator, said he felt the tournament ran very well due to a great group of volunteers and 25 years of experience with the tournament. “It went smooth for the most part,” Everhart said. “We had a little trouble with the rain on Saturday morning, but overall, the teams were pretty pleased with the tournament. They had a lot of positive comments.”
The Maumee, Pacesetter, Anthony Wayne, and Perrysburg soccer clubs sponsored the event along with the Northwest Ohio Soccer League. Nearly half of the participating teams, comprised of 9 through 14-year-old players, were from Toledo-area soccer clubs. In addition to the sponsoring clubs, the Toledo Celtics, GTFC, Sylvania United and ESSL Arsenal entered multiple teams in the tournament.
The local clubs faired well in the competition, winning five championship and nine runner-up trophies.
Several rival clubs from the Detroit area gave the Toledo-area teams stiff competition and good experience during this early-season tournament. “A lot of teams consider this a warm-up for league play,” Everhart said. “It’s a good season starter.”
Most of the local teams involved in the tournament are part of the Northwest Ohio Soccer League, which will begin regular league play in September. In all, 210 youth club teams play in about 30 parks in the Northwest Ohio area.
The tournament is a fundraiser for the sponsoring clubs. Also, a substantial amount of the proceeds is donated to the Robert Kumpe Memorial Scholarship. Mr. Kumpe was one of the founding members of this tournament and soccer in Northwest Ohio. In the past seven years, the scholarship fund has presented more than $55,000 to more than 28 students.
This year, scholarships went to Nathan Niese, a 2004 St. John’s Jesuit High School graduate; Daniel Lakis, a 2004 Perrysburg High School graduate; and Brandon Bosch, a 2005 Maumee High School graduate.