Teams miss tournament due to error

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 21, 2003

Talk about dropping the ball big time, and with it, crushing the hopes and dreams of 70 children in Marengo and the surrounding counties. The 70 children make up five local Alabama Youth Soccer Association soccer teams here in Demopolis.

These five teams were scheduled to go play this weekend in a Mississippi Youth Soccer Association soccer tournament that was being held in Biloxi, Mississippi.

This tournament was a three-on-three format with about 90 teams from all over the country, a great opportunity for some of the children of Demopolis to get some needed experience against some real soccer teams.

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The teams will not be going to the tournament due to one person’s mistake in handling the paperwork. The paperwork was due in to Jay Fike, tournament director by Friday, November 15, but Demopolis City Soccer Club President Stephen Gutshall turned the paperwork in on Monday, November 17.

No one was told of this error until it was too late to fix it.

Now, all of these 70 children, who have been practicing extra nights and weekends getting ready to play in this tournament will be sitting home this weekend, instead of playing the number one sport in the world.

The Demopolis Times attempted to contact Gutshall for this article.

Several of the parents had made reservations for the weekend with hotels in Biloxi, so now this leaves parents little time to cancel their reservations and try to get their money back. The Demopolis City Soccer Club use to be a member of the American Youth Soccer Organization, but changed to the Alabama Youth Soccer Association last year, because the AYSA gave the children more chances to compete on a compettive level.

The decision now falls on the shoulders of the board of directors of the Demopolis City Soccer Club.

They have to decide what to do about the problems that the league has had in the past few years.

While looking for answers to this problem, many parents and some board members had no comment, when contacted by this paper.