SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

October 9, 2012

Columbus Day Weekend Youth Soccer tourney a big hit once again in Peabody

Folks didn’t need to head north to see a gorgeous display of the dazzling colors that attract so much attention at this time of year.

Reds, oranges, and yellows were abundantly displayed at the Kennedy soccer fields in Peabody all weekend long during Peabody Youth Soccer’s 22nd annual Columbus Day Weekend Tournament.

Bright orange shirts dotted every field with both Beverly and Woburn youth teams sporting that shade. Beverly actually had the most teams in the field of 77, with 16 boys and girls teams competing at the various age levels. Host Peabody was a close second with 15 teams overall and would’ve had 16, but one team had to drop out because not enough players were available over the long holiday weekend.

“Everything ran smoothly,” said Peabody High boys soccer coach Stan McKeen, who helps run the tournament. A round-robin format was followed on Saturday and Sunday, with playoffs for the U-12 and U-14 teams yesterday.

“We’re always on time with no delay in games and are the only tournament in this area that can make that claim consistently. Everybody was keeping their fingers crossed that we could get our games in on Sunday because of the threat of rain. Fortunately, it held off and we had a great day.”

Fellow board member Steve Rizzo manned the grill for a steady stream of customers all day.

“We started with breakfast and we go all day until 5 p.m.,” Rizzo said. “We’ve had a great crowd the whole time (Sunday), and Saturday was the same.

“We’re pleased to have teams from Springfield, West Springfield and Medford this year. Beverly and Woburn always send lots of teams; Beverly has a great program, and we see the same nice families year after year.”

The U-12 Beverly Cheetahs made it all the way to the finals before losing to Woburn. Center forward Cassie Jones and forward/defender Alex Sullivan decorated their hair with orange streaks.

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