E.A. Sports Today

A game of their own

Inaugural County Soccer Tournament brackets drawn; Oxford No. 1 in boys field, Jacksonville No. 1 in girls field

By Brant Locklier
For East Alabama Sports Today

It was a group of excited Calhoun County soccer coaches that converged on Donoho Sunday to draw up the first Calhoun County Boys and Girls soccer tournament.

The hope is soccer will take off in the county as eight of the 15 schools now field soccer teams.

“It is exciting,” Donoho girls coach Jay Jenkins said. “We have been trying to have a tournament the last few years and now we have enough teams.”

Oxford’s boys and Jacksonville’s girls were installed as the No. 1 seeds in their respective brackets. The tournament starts Thursday at Choccolocco Park.

“Soccer has just not taken hold in the U.S. and it needs to start at the lower level,” said Weaver coach Jamie Clendenin, a former Jacksonville player and Oxford coach. “However as more high schools in the county field teams that will be more encouragement for more kids to play in the lower level.”

The younger programs are going strong in the Anniston PARD and that is starting to feed the need for high schools to have a soccer program. Saks and Weaver have added teams.

“The City of Anniston has one of the top 3 soccer youth programs in the state,” said Jenkins, an Anniston city councilman. “Only two cities have bigger programs and along with the club teams soccer players are starting to find their way into the high schools.”

The excitement and cooperation among the county coaches was evident as there were no problems in seeding the schools in the brackets. The focus was just getting the first tournament kicked off in the right manner and building the foundation to grow soccer in Calhoun County.

The Oxford boys (11-2) earned the top seed and will face Anniston (0-5) in the opening round Thursday at 4 p.m. Fourth-seeded Jacksonville (4-5-1) will take on Faith (2-4-1) also at 4.

Second-seeded Saks (5-1-2) will plays Weaver at 5:30, while third-seeded Donoho (5-2) will take on Sacred Heart (2-4) at 5:30.

The girls’ tournament also begins Thursday with fourth-seeded Oxford (2-10-1) taking on Anniston (1-4) at 4. Third-seeded Sacred Heart (7-0) will face Weaver (1-6) at 4.

Second-seeded Donoho (6-1) will face Saks (0-6) at 5:30.

Jacksonville (7-1-1) will face the winner of the Oxford-Anniston game Friday at 3:30. There’s a possibility that Faith’s JV girls team may play in the tournament; if so, they would take the bye from Jacksonville and Faith and the Lady Golden Eagles would most likely play at 5:30 Thursday.

The semifinals for both brackets will be at 3:30 p.m. Friday and the two finals at 3 Saturday.

April 6-8 at Choccolocco Park
Boys Bracket
Thursday’s games

4 p.m. – No. 1 Oxford (11-2) vs. No. 8 Anniston (0-5), Field 1
4 p.m. – No. 4 Jacksonville (4-5-1) vs. No. 5 Faith Christian (2-4-1), Field 2
5:30 p.m. – No. 3 Donoho (5-2) vs. No. 6 Sacred Heart (2-4), Field 1
5:30 p.m. – No. 2 Saks (5-1-2) vs. No. 7 Weaver (1-7), Field 2
Friday’s games
3:30 p.m. – Oxford-Anniston winner vs. Jacksonville-Faith winner, Field 1
3:30 p.m. – Donoho-Sacred Heart winner vs. Saks-Weaver winner, Field 2
Saturday’s game
3 p.m. – Championship game, 3 p.m.

Girls Bracket
Thursday’s games

4 p.m. – No. 4 Oxford (2-10-1) vs. No. 5 Anniston (1-4), Field 3
4 p.m. – No. 3 Sacred Heart (7-0) vs. No. 6 Weaver (1-6), Field 4
5:30 p.m. – No. 2 Donoho (6-1) vs. No. 7 Saks (0-6), Field 3
Friday’s games
3:30 p.m. – No. 1 Jacksonville (7-1-1) vs. Oxford-Anniston winner, Field 3
3:30 p.m. – Sacred Heart-Weaver winner vs. Donoho-Saks winner, Field 4
Saturday’s game
3 p.m. – Championship game, 3 p.m.

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