2008-11-28 / Sports

CYO Friendship Tournament Brings Warmth To Cold Soccer Morning

Youth sports are a great way to teach important life lessons like teamwork, fair play and sportsmanship. Unfortunately, these values are sometimes sacrificed at the altar of competition. Working hard to win, children can forget their opponents are just kids, too. In a fitting and uplifting end to the CYO soccer season, St. Francis de Sales 8th grade girls joined peers from Our Lady of Hope, Blessed Trinity, St. Virgilius, St. Gregory, St. Luke and St. Andrews in the first annual CYO Friendship Soccer Tournament last Saturday morning.

With all competitive games done for the seniors, this tournament gave the girls a chance to just be girls and play on the same team. A total of 86 girls participated.

Msgr. Brown of St. Francis started the day with a prayer. The coaches divided the group into six evenly balanced teams. It gave the girls a chance to see other teams in a different light.

During the games, girls would say, "Sorry" or "Are you OK?" if a player collided with them, rather than playing through. The girls were talking among themselves about high schools. They really enjoyed the day despite the very cold weather.

In addition to the munchies and drinks each parish provided, parents Debbie Gifford and Julie Mahoney brought homemade hot chocolate and did several runs home when needed. Christina Tammaro, Anthony Di Carlo and Erica from Hope volunteered to referee. The CYO Friendship Tournament was the brainchild of Hope head coach Mike Roach. He and St. Francis head coach Robin Hoffman organized the tournament.

St. Francis' fourth grade coach Anthony Di Carlo had shirts made for each player. St. Francis looks forward to continuing the Friendship Tournament next year and adding a boys' bracket.

In picture, 86 girls from seven parishes were participants in the CYO Friendship Tournament.

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