WESA adult soccer tournament this weekend

New format this year

[  by Than Acuff  ]

The CB Kickers adult coed soccer team looks to defend their home fields once again as 10 teams from throughout Colorado and one from Seattle are coming to Crested Butte for the WESA Adult Soccer Tournament Saturday and Sunday, June 15-16.

The tournament has been going on for 29 years with WESA (West Elk Soccer Association) organizing the tournament now and local businesses Old Town Inn, Tully’s, Zuni West Brewing and the Talk of the Town kicking down to help sponsor the event.

Since the high school soccer field is slated for improvements and thus closed this summer, WESA has taken a new direction with the tournament with some input from Town of Crested Butte recreation coordinator Lloyd Heirshberg.

“We lost the school field due to the much-needed rehabilitation of the field,” says WESA director of coaching and tournament organizer Tom Lewis. “Lloyd suggested we could go to 9v9 this year and see how it works. So, we changed Rainbow Park to 9v9 and made Town Park as large as we could, within insurance guidelines, and we’ll see how it goes. If it goes well, we could expand the tournament in this format for next year to develop more fundraising for financial aid, as that is what the money goes towards in the club.”

The current Kickers roster has been playing pick-up soccer recently and fleshing out the roster for the upcoming tournament and Lewis believes they may have a quality side this year.

“I think the team looks good, there are some new players mixed in with some year-after-year players, and I think the mix is good,” says Lewis. “It’ll be interesting how they play, especially with the reduced format and field size.”

Their opponents are often a mixed bag with some teams featuring players wrapping up their collegiate and high school careers and others just a collection of ageing soccer enthusiasts looking for a reason to visit Crested Butte and play a little soccer as well. While the Kickers have never won their home tournament, there is always a chance.

“We have some new ones and some regulars coming to the tournament this year,” says Lewis. “I feel as though every CB tournament we have a chance, just because it’s our home tournament, we are due a win at some point, especially after making the semi-final so regularly and then seemingly letting Saturday night antics get to us… ha!”

Tournament play begins Saturday at 8:30 a.m. with games all day at both Rainbow Park and the Center for the Arts fields. The Kickers play at 8:30 a.m. on Rainbow and then 2:30 p.m. at the Center for the Arts. How things turn out Saturday will determine Sunday’s schedule with the championship game slated for 1:30 p.m. at Rainbow.

Depending on how things pan out, WESA may keep the 9v9 format moving forward to bring in more teams to the tournament and thus raise more money for WESA scholarships.

“We will get a real idea once the weekend is over, or when people’s truthful side comes out on Saturday night after a few malt beverages,” says Lewis. “I hope everyone likes it, as the 11v11 field situation in CB currently really does restrict our ability to expand this tournament currently.”

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