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Comstock Shootout will be held

It’s become an annual rite of spring in Carson City: For the next two weekends, soccer moms, dads, players, coaches and anyone who has anything to do with the sport will take over the community.

The 12th annual Comstock Shootout will be held this weekend and the following weekend. The boys tournament will be held April 23 and 24 with the girls event set for April 29 and 30.

“We will be booked up both weekends,” said Douglas High girls soccer coach Fred Schmidt about the boom to the local economy the event will provide for local hotels and restaurants. “It should be good for the community which is one of the reasons why we started this tournament.”

Schmidt helped found the tournament and continues to help organize the event. Ralph Johnson and Joe Briggs are co-directors for this year’s tournament.

Teams from Nevada, Idaho, Oregon and Northern California will compete in the event. For the second straight year, clubs from Las Vegas will compete as well. The tournament will serve as a tuneup for the Nevada State Cup Championships to be held the second weekend of May.

Among the boys clubs who will be here this weekend will be Las Vegas Premiere, Southern Nevada’s top boys club.

All 10 fields at Edmonds Park will be used both weekends and Mills Park will be used as well. Games will begin at 8 a.m. each day. This Sunday afternoon, nine championship games will be held in the boys tournament.

The following weekend, 12 championship games will be held on Sunday afternoon in the girls event. Divisions for both tournaments will range from 10 and under to 19 and under.

There will be 78 boys teams competing this weekend and the girls tournament is filled with 96 teams for a total of 174 teams in the tournament. There were 32 teams in the first year of the event.

Schmidt said numbers are down for the boys tournament because of the inclimate weather that has happened on the boys weekend in recent years. But this weekend, the temperature is supposed to approach 70 degrees. “We’ve just had better weather the last few years on girls weekend,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt said the tournament has had to turn away close to 30 girls teams. “We’ve got more than we can handle,” he said. “We can’t take more than 96. We have a lot on the waiting list.”

But no local teams are excluded. “We make sure that all the Carson kids get in,” Schmidt said.

There will be many high level teams from Carson City and the Carson Valley in the event. The Nevada Wonders Academy will be among those fieding teams.

Among those who will have teams are Briggs, Carson girls coach and Nevada Wonders general manager Randy Roser and Carson boys coach Jason Koop, who directed the Senators to the Northern 4A title last fall. “We want the best teams,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt said several college coaches will be watching the tournament on both weekends. Among them will be Western Nevada Community College women’s soccer coach Hillary Arthur. “This will be an opportunity for her to see some local talent,” Schmidt said.

At one time, the tournament was one the largest youth sporting event in Nevada. It’s still one of the largest in the state and remains the largest in Northern Nevada.

“For a couple of years we were the largest in the state,” Schmidt said. “We’re still one of the largest. We are the largest by far in Northern Nevada.”

The tournament also serves as a fund-raiser for the Carson City American Youth Soccer Organization and has provided scholarships for Carson, Douglas and Dayton students.

Another key to the tournament’s success is the level of officials, who are all volunteers. For example, the tournament arranges to provide lodging and meals for several high caliber officials to come from the Bay Area. Schmidt said officials coordinator Tracy Serrante has done a “Herculean” job in providing officials for the tournament.