Soccer in blood for local tourney director

CourtesyJoe Briggs and his wife Patti. Joe is the tournament director for the Comstock Shootout.

CourtesyJoe Briggs and his wife Patti. Joe is the tournament director for the Comstock Shootout.

Soccer has been a major part of Joe Briggs' life for the past 10 years.

Briggs has been a soccer dad, a coach in the Capital Soccer Club and a highly successful JV coach at Carson High School.

And, for the past four years, he has served as tournament director for the popular Comstock Shootout, which annually draws top boys and girls youth soccer teams from all over Northern California, Nevada and even Idaho.

The 16th annual girls event, which has 104 teams, takes place Saturday and Sunday. The boys tournament was last weekend.

The bulk of the games will be played at Edmonds Soccer Complex and Mills Park.

"We get a lot of Northern California teams from the AYSO (American Youth Soccer Organization) districts," Briggs said. "We get teams from Davis, Pleasant Hill, Concord and Martinez. We usually end up with four or five Idaho teams. We've had Oregon teams in the past , and we've also had teams from Elko and Las Vegas.

"The girls' tournament fills up every year."

Briggs said he's been able to expand the tournament by using the softball fields at the Edmonds Soccer Complex. In the younger age groups, there are 7-on-7 and 9-on-9 games played on smaller fields. Probably not a bad idea, considering teams have to play at least two games per day.

Briggs said there were discussions about playing some age groups in Gardnerville and Jacks Valley, but it was decided that would pose too many logistical problems.

The job quite simply is a labor of love for Briggs. He loves the game and he loves giving back to the kids who play it.

Briggs, who took over leadership duties from event founders " Fred Schmidt, former Douglas High girls coach, and Phil Williams " works closely with Eric Ingbar, Ralph Johnson, Traci Ferrante and Schmidt, who has started working again on the tournament.

"We have six active members," Briggs said. "We start planning in December. Once applications start coming in, we work four or five days a week at least two hours a day. As it starts getting closer, you start putting in at least 10 to 15 hours a week."Briggs said that it takes a minimum of 30 man hours per (team entered) to help run the event. The jobs range from checking teams in at the headquarters hotel,

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