A total of 17 teams from La Mesa AYSO (American Youth Soccer Organization) competed in the recent Turkey Cup Tournament and Area 11v Tournament of Champions (TOC). Despite stiff competition from other East County AYSO teams, La Mesa was a dominant force, sweeping the boys divisions in the Turkey Cup and girls divisions in the TOC.
The Turkey Cup is an annual tournament hosted by El Cajon AYSO over the Thanksgiving weekend. The event draws recreational play teams from across East County. La Mesa sent 6 All Stars teams ranging from under 10 (U10) to under 14 (U14). The Boys U10 (Coach McMann), U12 (Coach Sneed), and U14 (Coach Cashman) teams all took first place medals. The Girls U14 (Coach Will) also took first place and the Girls U10 (Coach Coppo) took second place.
The TOC draws from the fall seasons top scoring teams from each AYSO region in Area 11v, which ranges from Julian down to La Mesa. Spring Valley AYSO is part of Area 11s, which will be completing their own TOC this upcoming weekend. La Mesa AYSO hosted the boys and girls under 12 games at the La Mesa Middle School fields.
La Mesa sent 11 of its teams to the TOC games, which took place over two weekends from December 1 to December 9. Through many well matched games, the La Mesa teams pushed through to semi final and then final brackets. The GU10 “Pink Flamingos” (Coach Fagan), in particular had to resolve both their semi final and final matches through intense extended time play.
In the end, only one team could emerge as the champion for each division. Noting the boy’s teams dominance in the Turkey Cup, the La Mesa girls stepped up and took first place in all their divisions. The victorious teams were GU10 (Coach Fagan), GU12 (Coach Angarola), and GU14 (Coach Will). The boys played fiercely as well with BU12 (Coach Paredes) and BU14 (Coach Nenn) taking firsts in their divisions.
At the end of the games, teams and coaches exchanged high fives and handshakes. Of his team, BU12 Coach Paredes said; "In over 20 years of coaching, this is the first team that just gelled together perfectly from the first day of practice through the entire season. They made coaching incredibly easy and I am extremely proud of how well they have done." GU12 Coach Angarola expressed very similar praise for his team, stating; "These girls are just amazing. We are proud of them and ready to go to sectionals. It's the best team I have coached so far." After his team’s victory, Angarola completed 44 pushups on the sideline, one for each goal scored. Not having the traditional cooler of Gatorade handy with which to drench him, his assistant coach instead rewarded him with an unexpected pie in the face.
The champion TOC teams will next advance to the sectional playoffs held in Garden Grove in February 2013. All La Mesa All Stars teams will be competing in the Area 11v All Stars Tournament held in January 2013. La Mesa AYSO will again host the boys and girls under 12 games at the La Mesa Middle School fields.
PR Coordinator, La Mesa AYSO