Summer soccer season comes to end


— When the Steamboat Mountain Tournament concludes Sunday, players in the local youth soccer program will have competed in their final tournament of the year.

Elmer Balvanz, director of the tournament, said 119 teams will travel to Steamboat to compete in a three-day contest that marks the finale of the summer soccer season.

"This is the final tournament in the state before the kids move on to next year," he said.

Danny Tebbenkamp, who coaches a girls 16-and-under squad from Steamboat, said the tournament will be his team's last until the fall season begins in August.

"We're expecting to do well since it's a non-premier tournament," Tebbenkamp said.

The fall season is the first of a series of soccer seasons during the year, said Rick Garth, registrar for the Steamboat Mountain Tournament.

The soccer year stretches from Aug. 1 to July 31, he said.

Balvanz said 119 teams will travel to the Steamboat Mountain Tournament. Eleven Steamboat teams will compete.

Those participating in the tournament will be playing in

a challenge-and-classic-type competition, Balvanz said.

Classic and challenge are separate levels within youth soccer, he said. Two other levels exist including premier and recreation, he said.

States that are sending teams to the tournament are Colorado, Nebraska, Utah, Kansas, Wyoming, New Mexico, Illinois, New Jersey and Delaware.

Playing sites are Whistler Park, Emerald Park, Howelsen Hill, Memorial Park, Colorado Mountain College, Strawberry Park Middle School and the Ski Town fields.

A number of teams, Balvanz said, have already arrived.

"We've got teams that are in town as we speak," he said. "They are having the time of their life."

One of the teams, Balvanz said, is from New Jersey. Forty-two Garden State fans have traveled with their team, he said.

"Yesterday, they rode up the gondola and had lunch there or something," he said. "They will be rafting on Thursday."


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