The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

May 13, 2013

Soccer growing in southern W.Va.

BECKLEY — With names like David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi becoming household names, and events such as the UEFA Champions League, World Cup and MLS Cup drawing high ratings on television, it’s no surprise soccer is one of the fastest rising sports in America.

That much was obvious at the 17th annual Darrell Moore Memorial Classic at the YMCA Paul Cline Memorial Youth Sports Complex, as more than 40 teams from all over the region invaded the pitch, showcasing their skills in hopes of  going home as champions.

“I think it’s great for the kids,” Oak Hill Rapids coach Greg Hewitt said. “It’s a great opportunity that the YMCA provides. It’s an excellent location. It’s well staffed and a well-run event.”

Hewitt has seen first-hand the growth of “the beautiful game” in the Mountain State. He was a member of the very first recreational league team in Oak Hill-Fayetteville. He now spends his time coaching a U-10 coed and U-12 girls travel teams.

“Travel teams are a little bit different than rec teams,” Hewitt explained. “Rec teams will play (at Paul Cline Memorial Youth Sports Complex) or in Oak Hill or wherever. They just play other local teams. We go out of state and compete in tournaments.”

Hewitt has already had his Rapids squad competing in tournaments in Virginia, North Carolina and the “Happiest Place on Earth,” Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.

“I’ve got kids that played every sport you can think of,” Hewitt said. “For the younger kids, this is the best sport for them to play. Not to knock the other sports, but this particularly is the best sport they can play, in my opinion.”

For Hewitt, it’s all about the experience.

“I remember how much fun it was when we got to go to places (and play),” Hewitt said. “I don’t think we ever won a game! It certainly wasn’t that, but the experience, that’s what we tried to provide for these kids. That’s why we take them places.”

Events like the Darrell Moore Memorial Classic, YMCA youth soccer in the spring and fall and growing middle school and high school teams are all playing a large role in the growth, Hewitt said.

“Hopefully it’ll keep growing and keep getting bigger,” Hewitt said. “I think this tournament has grown from the numbers last year and it’s bigger than it was last year. I would expect it to be even  bigger next year.”

n n n

While the Darrell Moore Memorial Classic wrapped up Sunday, it won’t be the last event to take place this season. Next week will bring in the West Virginia Soccer Association’s State Cup to the complex, showcasing the best U-12 through U-18 squads in West Virginia.

The Southern West Virginia King’s Warriors will also kick off their sophomore season at 7 p.m. Saturday, as they take on in-state rival West Virginia Chaos in the West Virginia Coal Cup Clash. That game will also take place at the complex.

— E-mail: jrollins@

register-herald.com and follow on Twitter at @JDanielRollins.

1
Text Only
Latest Sports
  • WVU rifle coach competing in native Scotland

    West Virginia University rifle coach John Hammond is competing in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games in his native Scotland.

    July 24, 2014

  • 072414 WV Open.jpg Familiarity with Cobb helps Hess take lead

    It wouldn’t be a stretch to say Kenny Hess is comfortable playing the Cobb Course at Glade Springs Resort.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Golf and motocross are Jude’s passions

    Motocross and golf have very little in common.

    July 24, 2014

  • WVU’s Worley clear starter at cornerback

    There were few bright spots in West Virginia University’s 4-8 football campaign last year, and even fewer on the defensive side of the football, where the Mountaineers gave up more than 455 yards and 33 points per game.

    July 24, 2014

  • How to discover and love Major League Soccer

    When I began my soccer fandom following a missions trip to Brazil in 2000, I didn’t know what my next step was. I knew I loved watching the game, but there weren’t a lot of options for seeing it in the U.S. I knew of Major League Soccer — mostly from my friend and current FC Dallas beat writer Drew Epperley — but it was hard to find.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Holgorsen to appear on ESPN special

    West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen will appear Wednesday on ESPN’s annual mid-summer college football coaches’ “car wash” — in which guests appear across multiple programs and platforms over one day.

    July 23, 2014

  • 072314 brand Bradshaw or the field?

    If a betting window were set up on the Cobb Course at The Resort at Glade Springs for the 81st West Virginia Open Championship, which begins at 8 a.m. this morning, the most popular wager would probably be David Bradshaw against the field.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Holgorsen: WVU getting comfortable in new league

    Dana Holgorsen remembers the glory days of West Virginia University football — the ones that included conference championships and BCS bowl wins. In fact, he was part of one of those, leading the Mountaineers to a Big East championship and an Orange Bowl victory in his first season as head coach in 2011.

    July 23, 2014

  • 072314 justice Home sweet home away from home

    When Greenbrier owner Jim Justice was handed a copy of the Richmond Times-Dispatch Sunday, his eyes lit up like a Rockefeller Center Christmas tree on a cold December night.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Saints Training Camp