WINTERSVILLE - Susan and Tom Crites of Steubenville settled into their chairs under an umbrella Saturday at the Riverview Soccer Spectacular at the Jefferson County Youth Soccer Club complex near the Jefferson County Airpark to watch their daughter, Emma, who is the goalie for the JK United Lady Spartans.
The Crites were among dozens of parents who came to watch their children participate in the third annual Riverview Soccer Spectacular.
"She is very excited," said Susan Crites of her daughter.
WARMING UP — JK United Lady Spartans, with players from Jefferson and Harrison counties, warmed up Saturday afternoon before their match with a team from the Beaver Local School District, as part of the Riverview Soccer Spectacular at the Jefferson County Youth Soccer Club complex near the Jefferson County Airpark, Emma Crites of Steubenville, the goalie, prepares to stop a fellow player’s shot.
The Crites are seasoned soccer parents who travel around the region to watch their daughter play. The Lady Spartans haven't traveled yet this year but will be hitting the road in the coming months.
The Lady Spartans have players from Steubenville and Wintersville and two from Harrison County.
"This (tournament) is pretty well organized. It is a nice atmosphere and the field is nice," Susan Crites said.
This is the second year the Lady Spartans have participated in the tournament.
"They do a great job of organizing it," said Tom Crites.
There were five divisions of soccer teams for boys and girls teams, ages 8 to 14, said Dr. Himanshu Desai, event co-organizer.
The tournament concludes today with matches from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Desai said the tournament was previously held over the Columbus Day weekend but changed to the Labor Day weekend this year.
A team from the Laurel Highlands near Altoona, Pa., traveled the farthest, Desai said.
"Things are going really well. We have becoming very experienced at running the tournament. All of our volunteers are really fantastic," Desai said.
Desai said the competition between the 20 teams at the tournament is fairly balanced.
He said new teams come to the tournament as a trial and go home and bring back other teams to the tournament.
"We hope to keep it growing that way," 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.
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.
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