Comstock Shootout is scheduled

It's become the mother lode of soccer tournaments, so fittingly the event is named the Comstock Shootout.

Once again, about 2,500 soccer players will flock to Carson City for the annual rite of spring, which is one of Nevada's largest youth sporting events. There will be 168 teams - 74 boys clubs and a full field of 94 girls squads - competing over the next two weekends.

The boys tournament will be held on Saturday and Sunday on all 10 fields at Edmonds Park. The girls tournament will be held on April 29 and 30 on 12 fields - 10 at Edmonds and two at Mills Park. Teams from several age groups will compete in various divisions at the event.

Teams from California, Oregon, Idaho and Nevada will compete. Many teams from Southern Nevada will compete as the tournament has also become something of a tuneup for the State Cup to be held on Mother's Day weekend in Las Vegas.

Ralph Johnson, who is co-tournament director with Joe Briggs, serves different levels of play, which is one of its drawing cards.

"We're excited about it," Johnson said. "We've got a pretty good tournament. We've got a good field of local and out of area teams."

Because it serves different levels of play, both American Youth Soccer Organization clubs and United States Youth Soccer Association teams come to the event. The tournament has been a drawing card for a large contingent of Northern California AYSO teams for many years. Johnson said there have been teams coming to the tournament for more than 10 years.

Johnson said an effort is made to make sure that teams are placed in divisions where they can be as competitive as possible.

"We want to make it fun as well," he said. "We attract all different levels of teams."

The tournament, sponsored by the Capital Soccer Club and Carson City'a AYSO, has also served not only to raise the level of play in Carson City, but all of Northern Nevada. Johnson noted there will be clubs competing in the tournament that have players from all over Northern Nevada.

The boys tournament has taken somewhat of a hit over the past few years because of the weather. Johnson said another reason why the boys field is a little lower is because this weekend is the last weekend of Easter vacation. But the forecast calls beautiful weather this weekend and that along with the snowcapped mountains of the Tahoe area works as another drawing card.

The financial impact also can't be understated for Carson area hotels and restaurants. The tournament serves as the main fund-raiser for the Capital Soccer Club and AYSO.

Among the main benefits of the tournament have been bringing in high level coaches for training to raise the level of coaching in the area and scholarships for high school students. The Western Nevada Community College women's soccer team has also benefitted.

WNCC coach Hillary Arthur and many of her players will help out with the girls tournament. Players will also be able to showcase their talents for WNCC. Among other colleges who have attended the event are Lassen, Feather River and Southern Oregon.

Johnson said a major reason why Carson can host such a huge tournament is Edmonds Park.

"They're the best in Northern Nevada," said Johnson about Carson's facilities. "No one else has anything close."

The cooperation of Joel Dunn from Carson City Parks and Recreation and how well Edmonds Park is maintained are keys to the event's success, Johnson said. "Parks and Rec does a real good job," he said.

And the efforts of a large number of volunteers is another major reason why the event can take place, Johnson said. "It's really a community effort that makes this work," he said.


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