Kids Test Their Mettle at Meadows ICEAA Soccer Tournament

Jenny Valdez (Center) fights to keep the ball from the Holtville Middle School team
Jenny Valdez (Center) fights to keep the ball from the Holtville Middle School team

EL CENTRO — It was a big day for local valley junior high athletes as Meadows Union School District hosted its yearly ICEAA Soccer tournament, Saturday, October 25. This much anticipated event is a major highlighted sport in the schedule of many teams in the Imperial Valley. While this year’s event was not as large due to scheduling conflicts, the six team tourney did provide its share of top level competition, as well as exciting moments, including three games ending with penalty kicks as well as a final decided by only one goal.

“This in an event that we have had every year at Meadows school, where students compete in a fun, friendly environment. Hopefully this will continue to be a fun event as we continue over the next few years,” said Meadows Athletic Director David Gloria on the event.

For many Jr. High/Middle School student-athletes participating in the event, it is one of their first times experiencing competitions between schools as most are just a year or two out of recreation soccer participation, and for many it is their first time being on a “school team”, something they will grow more accustomed to as they move along through high school’s freshman, j.v., and varsity levels.

For all the teams involved in the tournament, while competitive, it was also a time of reflection of all the season’s hard work was finally put on full display with players and coaches giving it their all and leaving all on the field.

“I think it was a good tournament. It was my first experience as a coach for Barbara Worth and I’m happy with our result. The kids played well and are implementing what they practice during the week. I’m very proud of them,” said Barbara Worth Junior High School Head Coach Robert Perez of his squads showing at the event.

“We had a great time here at Meadows, we played a tough tournament, all the teams played really hard and it was really well organized,” added Holtville head coach Ramiro Marquez after the tournament.

With the successful completion of the Meadow’s Tournaments, and the Jr. High/Middle School soccer season nearing its end, the focus of many valley squads now turn to finishing the season on a positive note and player development for next season, and maybe even another possible tournament.