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Juneau Hosts State Soccer Tournament
Published: 05/27/2010 14:10:00
This weekend, Juneau is playing host to the High School State Soccer Tournament, an event made even more significant by the fact that its the first state tournament to be held in Juneau since the mid 1980s. Erin Smith, the Tournament Director tells us; Well its huge, its the first time that our local teams will be able to play in the tournament on their home field. Its a chance for us to show off our Capital City as well, because this is actually the first time in twenty four, twenty five years that weve hosted any type of high school state championship event here in Juneau.

Of further significance to Juneau is the economic impact of bringing all of the teams to town. Erin Explains; Therell be eight girls teams, and eight boys teams, you know with each team bringing up to twenty two players per team, each team will have two coaches so were already at three hundred and fifty people to town just based on that, and its looking like it could have an impact upwards of a hundred thousand dollars.

Juneau Parks and Rec. also threw their hat in the ring and spent some extra time preparing for the event. Larry OKeefe, a Park Maintenance Foreman for the City, tells us; For this particular event, were going to spend an extra four or five hours here today just cleaning up the grounds, getting everything ready, making sure the nets are together and making sure the park is safe. Weve got these bleachers behind me, the grandstands, and were are going to put a couple of sets of bleachers on the far side of the field so well have more seating capacity here.

One of the tasks undertaken by the organizers was to make sure that the visiting teams felt some true Capital City hospitality, and Erin Smith related to us one of the ways that shes accomplishing that; Ive recruited quite a few younger kids from the soccer club to come with me to the airport and greet teams and hand out our little goodie bags and just welcome them and let them know how just how excited we are.

Amy Skilbred, a former board member of the Juneau Soccer Club, was instrumental in bringing the Tournament to Juneau by submitting a bid to the Alaska State Activities Association to host the games here. In support of the games, she offered this word of advice to high school sports fans. Its just a great community wide event, and we really encourage people from throughout the community, young, old, everyone to come and enjoy some of the best soccer, or THE best soccer in the State thats going to be happening here.

By: Rik Pruett -