Comstock Shootout to begin this weekend |

Comstock Shootout to begin this weekend

Charles Whisnand column

When the Comstock Shootout began in its first year, there were 34 teams and one club that came from out of state.

Now in its 10th year, the tournament brings almost 200 of the top soccer clubs from four states to compete. Almost 100 boys teams and nearly 100 girls teams will compete in the event, which begins this weekend.

This year’s tournament will feature teams from Nevada, California, Oregon and Idaho. More than half the teams in the event will come from out of state.

On Saturday and Sunday, the boys tournament will be held. Then on April 26 and 27, the girls event will take place.

Most of the tournament will be held at the 10 fields at Edmonds Sports Complex, with two fields also set up at Mills Park. On each weekend, games will be held from 8 a.m. to 5:20 p.m. Saturday, with championship games set for 1:30 to 3 p.m.

Teams from under-10 to under-19 divisions will compete, with 11 championship games set for the two weekends.

“We’ve gotten to where we fill out the tournament,” said Phil Williamson, who along with Douglas High girls soccer coach Fred Schmidt and Carson City’s Capital Soccer Club, coordinates the event.

But Williamson is quick to note many volunteers are needed to pull off the event. There will be 140 volunteer officials alone working each weekend.

“We have a lot of referees that donate time to ref for us,” Williamson said. “We have several that come out of town.”

A major reason why Carson City can host such a huge event is Edmonds Sports Complex.

“The city always helps out a lot,” said Williamson, commenting on the Carson City’s recreation department. “Edmonds is a great sports complex.

“It’s a great location and the fields are in great shape. All the teams that come to the tournament wish they had a set up live we’ve got.”

The major reason for beginning the tournament was to raise the level of soccer in the area.

“We wanted to bring teams to Carson City, so we could see the level of play of other communities,” Williamson said.

Williamson said the tournament has helped raise the level of play in the area.

“The level of play up here has improved,” he said. “It’s not just because of the tournament.

“It’s because of interest in soccer. But the tournament hasn’t hurt.”

Local soccer teams have traditionally fared well in the event. The Capital Soccer Club alone will have about 20 teams — about 10 boys and girls teams each — in the tournament.

Another plus from the event is the economic benefit to the area. More than 5,000 players, friends and family can be expected to come to the area during the tournament. Restaurants do well and hotels are filled up in Carson City, Minden-Gardnerville and as far as South Reno and South Tahoe.

Charles Whisnand is the Nevada Appeal Sports Editor.