U13 boys undefeated into semis

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The chance to repeat as champions remains a possibility for the Steamboat Springs U13 boys soccer team.

After getting by the BCJSA Fireballs, 3-1, on Friday morning, coach Danny Tebbenkamp pointed to Steamboat's next game against Edge Select as an important one in flight play at the 21st annual Steamboat Mountain Soccer Tourn--ament.

Steamboat went on to win, 6-1, and then defeated Rush Fusion, 9-0, on Saturday morning to advance to today's semifinals at 10 a.m. at Steamboat Springs High School.

"It took us a while to get rolling," Tebbenkamp said. "They played really well."

Steamboat will face a wild-card team in the semifinals. If Steamboat wins, it will be in the finals at 2 p.m. at Steamboat Springs Middle School. If Steamboat loses, it will be in the consolation final at 2 p.m. at the high school. Both games are today.

Tebbenkamp assumed coaching duties for this team when it was in the U11 division, and he has watched the boys mature as players and people. The core group has been together since elementary school. Out-of-state additions Andrew White and Tony Rende and the recent arrival of Jose Gonzalez, who recently moved to Steamboat from Mexico, have increased the team's depth, which will be important as the boys move into high school.

"We are definitely blessed with some good players," Tebbenkamp said. "The eighth-grade year is the year Steamboat (soccer) teams fall apart because of football, but these guys have had so much success they can't think of anything else but soccer."

Tebbenkamp has a full roster for the fall club season and is encouraged that the boys want to continue to play as a unit.

"Every once in a while, you have a special group," he said. "If they have success when they are young, they will stay on."

Unfortunately for most of the Steamboat teams, few had much success this weekend in terms of wins or losses. Steamboat's U16 boys and U18 girls -- essentially the high school varsity teams -- won games this weekend. The boys will begin practice for the high school season in August.

The semifinals and finals in all divisions from U10 to U18 for boys and girls will be played today. The finals will be played at the high school, middle school, Emerald Park, Heritage Park and Ski Town fields.

-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com

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