Columbus Day Classic heating up River Soccer Club
Get ready to see some fancy footwork, Roxana. River Soccer Club will host 88 teams at the 10th annual Columbus Day Classic tournament this weekend.
Hundreds of boys and girls, ages 9 to 14, will converge on Sussex County to compete Friday through Sunday, Oct. 5-7. Local River club teams will face off against players from Cape Henlopen, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
“People love coming out to see the competition,” said organizer Cindy Smith.
And there’s plenty of time to catch the action. Friday games begin around 5 p.m., continue Saturday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., and conclude with championships on Sunday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
In between competitions, players and families will get entertainment all weekend. Each team donates a T-shirt, hat or other personalized gear to a huge drawing. Winners are drawn throughout the day.
A local parent-volunteer hosts juggling competitions for all the age groups and keeps parents entertained on the sidelines. Plus, a DJ will spin music on Saturday, while several vendors will sell goods and souvenirs.
Several local business sponsors are offering discounts in honor of the Columbus Day Classic. Just mention “River Soccer Club” at Mio Fratello, Viking Golf, McCabe’s gourmet and Magnolia’s restaurant to get a discount. Seacrets in Ocean City, Md., is donating bottled water, while Rowe Property Management handles landscaping and field maintenance.
“It’s really nice to have the local businesses back us up, and it all goes back into the club to help our area children,” said organizer Allison Bescak. “The funds raised from this type of tournament always go back into our programs. TOPSoccer is one of them, to reach out to special-needs children. We’re pretty darn proud of that.
“This is a club run by volunteers,” said Bescak. “We could not do that without the parents and the teenagers involved in all of this.”
River players often come home from college to continue coaching younger players.
“It’s really neat. I’ve heard it time and time again: kids grow up here, and they view it as their home, so they wanna take care of it,” said Bescak.
The Columbus Day Classic is held at the River Soccer Club Complex, 32221 Gum Road in Roxana. Dogs, alcohol and smoking are not permitted, while good sportsmanship and spectatorship are encouraged. For more information and the official schedule, visit the Web site at www.riversoccerclub.com.