Statesboro’s soccer seasons have had to sit on the sidelines as winter weather postponed the scheduled season openers for both the boys and girls this week.
The Blue Devils are eager to get on to the field and will get to do so in style Saturday as they host Boots in the Boro at Mill Creek Regional Park.
Statesboro has travelled to the Tournament of Champions hosted at Jekyll Island in each of the past three seasons. This year, they’ll be able to lay a claim to their own showcase of solid teams from around the region.
“This is a very exciting opportunity for our program,” SHS girls coach Brian Thomas said. “We’re a little disappointed that we weren’t able to play our first regular season game before this tournament, but it will still be great to just get out there and compete.”
Local teams will join schools travelling from Macon, Atlanta and Augusta to make up a 19-team field that will play throughout Saturday morning and afternoon.
Thomas was grateful to Mill Creek and also for the SHS soccer boosters for combining to make the event possible.
“You can’t ask for a better place to hold a tournament,” Thomas said. “Mill Creek has a lot of fields and all of them are perfect for us to play on. The competition is going to be great as well. It’s nice to be able to get that kind of challenge without having to travel to someone else’s tournament.”
Statesboro’s boys will take on Greenbrier out of Augusta at 11 a.m. and will play one of the tournament’s closing games against Bulloch County rival Southeast Bulloch Saturday at 5 p.m.
The Lady Blue Devils get their morning started early as they face Dublin at 9 a.m. and take on Pierce County at 3 p.m.
Warmer weather is in the forecast and will hopefully draw a big crowd from all teams involved. Aside from friends and family, there will also be a few clipboards making their way around the park.
Colleges from throughout Georgia and South Carolina will be in attendance and will add even more of a boost to what should be a great atmosphere.
“We don’t want to concern ourselves with who is watching,” Thomas said. “But of course it’s great to have college coaches hanging around. That’s the kind of thing that can help this tournament take off and become a yearly thing that we can be proud of.”
Mike Anthony may be reached at (912) 489-9404.