Mount Airy soccer coach Will Hurley chose his roster for the 2018 Powerade State Games of North Carolina soccer tournament this week.
This year’s edition of the Midwest team, which Hurley coaches every year at the State Games, features two of his own Granite Bears players, along with a player from a county rival. The 20-player squad also includes three players from 1A state champion Bishop McGuinness, along with players from the Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Thomasville and Burlington areas.
Back for another go-round this season are the Tumbarello brothers, Austin and Jackson, both of whom played for the team a year ago, when the Midwest took the bronze medal. This is Austin’s third year playing in the showcase event, and his final year of eligibility as a rising senior. He also helped the team earn a bronze in the 2016 tournament held in Raleigh.
Joining them on the 2018 team is Nolan McMillen of Surry Central. McMillen, a rising junior, earned a spot on the N.C. Soccer Coaches’ Association’s All-Region 8 team last fall as a sophomore. In Central’s final game of the 2018 season, he marked Ben Baker of Ledford, the state’s leading scorer with 67 goals, for 110 minutes and held him to just a single goal. Now he’ll join the Midwest in search of a gold medal.
Following last year’s bronze medal win, Austin Tumbarello vowed he would return in 2018 and that the Midwest, which just barely missed playing for the gold in both 2016 and 2017, would try to claim the big prize this year. He scored the game-winning goal in overtime of last year’s bronze-medal match.
The men’s soccer tournament will be played on June 16 and 17 at UNC-Greensboro’s soccer stadium, the same venue as last year. Some games will be played in the soccer stadium itself, and others will be contested at the same time over on the Spartans’ practice field, adjacent to the stadium.
The Midwest will actually open the tournament as one of the first teams to play on June 16, at 9 a.m. with a game against the West. The same thing happened two years ago, but in that tournament, the Midwest team had to play the ‘home’ Central team (Raleigh/Durham area) after a long ride that morning. The Midwest lost the match and it cost them a chance to play for the gold, but in a rematch on Sunday, they avenged the loss to win the bronze. This time, Hurley’s team will technically be the ‘home’ team, since Greensboro is part of their region.
The team’s second match on Saturday will be against the Southeast at 2:15 p.m. on the practice field. On Sunday at 10:45, they’ll play the Northeast in the stadium. At 2:30 on Sunday, the top two teams in pool play will play for the gold in the stadium, while the third- and fourth-place teams will play for the bronze on the practice field at 2:15.
At the same time that the six-team men’s tournament is going on, a four-team women’s tournament will also be contested. As of Wednesday, only two of those four teams had been chosen and no local players are currently on a roster.
Other players on the roster include Jeffrey Romero, Daniel Anani, Jose Reyna and John Vanhoy of Ledford, Caleb Burns of Oak Grove, Jose Alamanza of High Point Central, Andrew Brown of West Davidson, Mason Paschold of West Forsyth, Nathan Joseph, Brandon Linarea and Alan Linares of Bishop McGuinness, Josh Auger and Jesse Auger of Northern Guilford, Caleb Livengood of Sheets Memorial Christian, Mason Powell of Page, Jorge Alfaro of Walter Williams and James Simo of Bartlett-Yancey. Assistant coaches are John Blake of Ledford and the Bears’ Holden Hurley.
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