WINTERSVILLE - The third-annual Riverview Soccer Spectacular, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday at the Jefferson County Youth Soccer Club Complex near the Jefferson County Airpark, will include at least 20 teams competing.
Dr. Himanshu Desai, event co-organizer, said the meet will draw some new teams along with some veterans during the hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.
"We have about 20 teams participating," said Desai, adding one new team from Beaver Local School District will be attending this year's meet. "That's going to be around 300 kids for this year. We have five divisions, which is the same as last year."
PRACTICE, PRACTICE — Members of the under 11 Spartans soccer team got in some practice Thursday evening at the Jefferson County Youth Soccer Club Complex in Wintersville. That team and approximately 19 others will take part in the third-annual Riverview Soccer Spectacular planned Saturday and Sunday at the local soccer complex. Dr. Himanshu Desai, left, is co-organizer of the event, which is sponsored through the Jefferson Kiwanis Youth Soccer Club. - Linda Harris
Desai said those coming to compete also will help the local economy by staying at area hotels and motels, including the Best Western and Hampton Inn in Stubenville and the Holiday Inn in Weirton.
"I think the kids are getting excited," said Desai. "I hope the (younger players) come to the games and support the older teams. They have a chance to see some really high level soccer."
Desai said the meet also has attracted more girl teams this year as well.
"That's looking good as well," he said. "We sustained some growth with the girls this year."
The meet will go on rain or shine, and "the only time we stop is if there's thunder and lightning," Desai said.
The Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, Steubenville Convention and Visitors Bureau and Progress Alliance all are offering assistance, said Desai. The event is sanctioned by the U.S. Youth Soccer Association and the Ohio Youth Soccer Association North through the Jefferson Kiwanis Youth Soccer Club. The local club was formed in 1978 with a vision of bringing a youth soccer league to the area.
"Everyone's welcome (to the meet)," said Desai. "We will have some great food and concessions there. We will also have a fun zone for kids and, of course, some great soccer."
Desai also thanked sponsors, committee members, participating athletes, friends and volunteers.
Sponsors include IBEW Local 246, Trinity Health System, the YES Team, DPS Penn, the Target Shop and the Herald-Star and the Weirton Daily Times. For information, go online to www.jkysc.com.