Notebook: College coaches turn out for talent
BARBOURSVILLE -- With 251 teams in town for the US Youth Soccer Region I Championships, college coaches have flocked to the Barboursville Soccer Complex looking to scour for talent among the 4,500 players in the tournament.
On Friday, 85 college coaches officially signed in at the US Youth Soccer host tent and many other coaches were on hand. Some of them are coaching teams in the tournament.
Coaches positioned themselves at corners of fields so they could see multiple games at once and they toted pens and notepads while scribbling so fast they resembled a court reporter.
One of the most intriguing things about the college recruiting game is just listening to the coaches themselves.
They will see each other at the fields, ask about each other's families and plan on meeting up for dinner later the same evening, but once the conversation ends, it's back to business.
"We are all competitors, so everyone understands," one unidentified coach said Friday afternoon. "No hard feelings."
So as the competition continues on the field, the behind-the-scenes competition will also commence off the field with the coaches.
D-I TALENT = EZ WINS: The U-19 teams playing in this event are an interesting group that stretch both ends of the spectrum. These rosters mostly consist of college players.
Some athletes come back from school and play for their club teams one last time. Some don't.
The FC Bucks Vipers certainly came back.
The Vipers' roster consists of 20 players, all of whom either played for an NCAA Division I school last year or will do so this upcoming fall.
Heidi Sabatura, the reigning Big East Conference Rookie of the Year at Villanova University, scored four goals in a 7-0 win over the West Virginia Chaos.
COUNTRY ROADS TAKE THEM TO WINS: At the 2009 US Youth Soccer Region I Championships, the host state didn't exactly take advantage of its home soil.
West Virginia teams won all of four games in the three days they remained in contention.
In just one day this year, the Mountain State is on its way to making a disappointing '09 performance a distant memory. West Virginia teams won three games Friday,those coming by the U-16 Boys WVSC Elite Titans, U-15 Boys WVSC Wizards and the U-12 Girls WV United Soccer Club Elite.
All the WV "W's" came by a 2-1 margin.
THEY'RE BAAACK: It was a near clean sweep for the defending champs at the Region I championships. Eight of the nine teams that came away from West Virginia winners last year, won their first game this week.
SUN-BURNED FINGERS CROSSED: It's been one day, but severe weather, which played a big part in last year's tournament, held off Friday.
The sun was out as temperatures barely reached 80 degrees, topping out at 81.
The forecast for Saturday calls for more of the same -- mid 80s and sunny.
Grant Traylor and Andrew Ramspacher are sports reporters for The Herald-Dispatch.