Players, families enjoy staying in dorms
HUNTINGTON -- A group of young players, their parents and coaches from several teams hovered around a small television in the sitting room of Twin Towers West to watch the Netherlands' dramatic 2-1 win over Brazil in the World Cup on Friday.
Nearby, a group of players played table tennis and shot billiards in the game room adjacent to the lobby.
The groups are part of the more than 3,000 people staying in the Marshall University dorms during the six-day 2010 US Youth Soccer Region I Championships.
Those staying in the dorms touted the facility's proximity to playing fields and to downtown Huntington on Friday.
More than 3,400 hotel and motel rooms from Charleston to Grayson, Ky., have been reserved for the visiting 16,000 players, parents, coaches and referees. About 4,500 soccer players on 280 teams from 13 states are participating in the tournament.
Several parents of players with the FC Stars of Massachusetts said they were originally booked for a hotel but were glad when they were moved to the dorms. The FC Stars of Massachusetts is a premier soccer club with 31 teams for girls and boys.
"The dorms are much better for the kids because they can get out and walk around campus," said parent Dave Scheuer. "Our kids have visited a lot of big schools, like Indiana University, and these dorms are comparable to them."
David Margolius, another parent with the FC Stars of Massachusetts, said the kids and parents have enjoyed their stay at the dorms. Margolius, whose daughter played at the regional championships when they were held in Maine, said the dorms are very clean and in a great location for team activities.
"Staying in the dorms is very convenient for the parents and players," Margolius said. "Our game schedules are really light, so that leaves a lot of time to check things out."
Games are played at the Barboursville Soccer Complex at Barboursville City Park and at the Scott Orthopedic Soccer Complex in the YMCA Kennedy Center fields on W.Va. 2.
John Berry, a soccer parent from Delaware, said the team already has hit restaurants in Huntington and Barboursville for dinner and lunch. On Friday, Berry said the team met at Giovanni's on 3rd Avenue to watch the World Cup match.
"The kids are having a blast," Berry said.
Staying in the dorms, he said, gives kids and parents the opportunity to visit different shops and restaurants in Huntington. Berry said everyone staying in the dorms have easy access to parking and can walk to the university's cafeteria for meals.
Jose Polanco joined his two sons, Xavier and Gabriel, as well as the entire North Shore United soccer team for the tournament. Polanco, who is from Delaware, said the dorms allowed the entire team to be housed on one floor, giving them the opportunity to stay together.
"It's been great so far," Polanco said. "Since we're all staying on the same floor, we all know each other, which makes it really convenient."