The team representing the Midwest Region in soccer at the Powerade State Games of North Carolina has a decidedly navy blue and white feel to it.
The second weekend of the statewide sports competition starts Friday, with the high school boys’ soccer tournament, featuring all-star teams from six regions. Surry County is part of the Midwest Region, and the county is strongly represented by a contingent from Mount Airy High School, last year’s 1A West runners-up. The soccer showcase is being held on two fields at the WRAL Soccer Park in Raleigh, with both boys’ and girls’ tournaments being held at the same time.
Two key members of the Granite Bears are among the 20 players chosen for the Midwest team. Austin Tumbarello, a rising sophomore forward/striker, will wear number 3 for his State Games team, while rising senior midfielder Malcolm Malone will wear 19. In addition, MAHS head coach Will Hurley is head coach of the Midwest team, assisted by son Holden, the 2016 N.C. Soccer Coaches Association state Assistant Coach of the Year. The two coached the Midwest to a silver medal in last year’s State Games, again led by a substantial contingent of local players, and will try to do one better this time around.
A number of other athletes from the area are also part of the team. Solomon Maya of Starmount and Saul Zamora of Forbush are part of the team, and the Falcons are also represented by Coach Seth Daves, who will be one of the assistant coaches along with the younger Hurley, John Blake of Ledford, and James Shepard of Western Alamance.
Last year, the Midwest won its group but then fell 2-1 to the Central team in a closely contested gold-medal match.
The six teams are divided into two groups, with Central, West and Northeast in Group A and Midwest, South and Southeast in Group B. However, instead of playing the other teams in each group, each team will play the three teams from the other group over a two-day period. At the end of group play, the teams with the best records in each group will play for the championship, and the group runners-up square off for third place, all at 1:15 p.m. on Sunday.
The Midwest team plays twice on Saturday, both times on the complex’s Durham Bulls Stadium Field. They open the tournament at 8 a.m. against the Central team, then return to action at 1:15 to face the West squad. On Sunday, they’ll face the Northeast team at 9:45 a.m. All of the teams will take a break while the girls complete play, and then the top four boys’ teams will take the field again. The gold-medal match will be held at Durham Bulls Stadium Field, and the bronze-medal match will be played simultaneously at Travers Lasik Field.
The girls’ tournament consists of just four teams this season, and only one athlete from the area is taking part, rising sophomore midfielder Allie Hawkins of West Stokes. Hawkins is a member of the South team, which will play the North at 9:45 a.m. Saturday, the West at 3 p.m. Saturday, both at Travers Lasik Field; and the East at 11:30 a.m. Sunday on Durham Bulls Stadium Field. The girls’ event is a round-robin, and the team with the best overall record will earn the gold medal.
Reach John via Twitter at @johncate73.