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Seniors of the YSHS boys soccer team, from left, Nathan Miller, Fielding Lewis, Jared Scarfpin, Ian Chick, Liam Crieghton and Sam Butler. (Photo by Megan Bachman)

Major soccer tournament kicks off here

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Please note that the Yellow Springs Chamber of Commerce states that residents should expect increased automobile and foot traffic in the Village this weekend, due to the tournament and other events. Read more details here.

This weekend a new soccer tournament will bring to the village more than 500 high school players and 24 teams in a pre-season battle. And while World Cup host nation Brazil failed to deliver its country the cup, the Yellow Springs High School boys team will have a chance to defend its home turf and bring home the top trophy for the Bulldogs.

The First Annual Yellow Springs High School Boys Soccer Team Pre-Season Tournament runs Friday–Sunday, July 18–20, at the YSHS fields. All games are free for attendees while profits from entry fees, concessions and T-shirts go to support YSHS boys soccer.

YSHS Coach Ben Van Ausdal said he is confident the contest will be “fun, competitive and exciting,” with teams representing divisions I through III and traveling from as far as Toledo, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Middletown. Top teams participating include Bishop Fenwick, a #4 statewide seed last year, Bellbrook, which was as high as #7 in the state, Maumee, Sycamore-Cincinnati, Waynesville, Clark Montessori and league rival Dayton Christian, according to Van Ausdal.

The tournament is organized like the World Cup, with round-robin group matches on Friday and Saturday and elimination games on Sunday among the group stage winners and runners up, culminating in a final championship match on Sunday at 7 p.m. Van Ausdal hopes villagers come out to watch quality soccer.

In addition to making money for the boys soccer program and boosting the town’s economy, the tournament will help Van Ausdal’s players gain experience, with two teams from YSHS set to participate in the tournament.

“It’s all about getting experience for my players,” Van Ausdal said. “I wanted them to get as much playing time as possible.”

The YSHS boys soccer team is gearing up for what it hopes will be a successful season with a healthy roster of 26 players and six returning seniors. Expectations are high for the Bulldogs, who went 13–1–2 last year, won the Metro Buckeye Conference title outright, defeated perennial rival Springfield Catholic Central and cruised to three straight wins in the post-season tournament.

Van Ausdal said the team has a “strong bond” with a lot more size and strength than in previous years.

“A lot of people think we will be good, but I think we will even surprise them,” Van Ausdal said.


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