Franklin Countys First News

Western Mountain Soccer Classic brings 3,000 to Strong

Some of the teams at last year's tournament gather on the fields of Mt. Abram High School.

SALEM - In two weeks the campus of Mt. Abram Regional High School will fill with young soccer enthusiasts in the 11th Annual Western Mountain Soccer Classic.

The 7 vs. 7 tournament will bring 48 teams, boys and girls, from across the entire state to compete for the top spot. With some teams coming as far as Aroostook County, players and their support people will be utilizing local lodging, with many pitching tents on the high school's playing fields.

The tournament was founded by former Physical Education Instructor Marc Keller. Keller now serves as the athletic director for Spruce Mountain High School, but the roots of his vision have stuck, with expansion.

"We added a boy's tournament, for one thing. And we do a spaghetti dinner and buffet breakfast fundraiser," lead organizer Darren Allen said.

Allen teaches social studies at Mt. Abram, as well as coaches the boy's soccer team. The tournament is not required for any regular-season players, but some choose to participate. In addition to brushing up their skills, the students have the opportunity to earn their community service credit required for graduation. The kids volunteer to help run the event, selling shirts, cleaning bathrooms and all of the other odd jobs that need attention for the big event to run smoothly. Other Mt. Abram students tend to jump onboard too, Allen said. The National Honor Society hosts a car wash fundraiser, while the soccer team runs a food booth for tournament attendees.

"I think they go through something like 500 pounds of potatoes for french fries," Allen said.

The teams, along with their coaches, parents, friends and family, bring somewhere around 3,000 people to the Strong area. This year the event is even bringing in a U.S. Cellular mobile truck that offers a reception boost for the rural spot.

For more information on the tournament click here. Like them on Facebook to stay up to date.

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2 Responses »

  1. Salem is the town. Not Strong

  2. I noticed that, too.