Soccer Underdogs Reach State Sweet 16

The Spirit of 97 Elite boys soccer team will play in Plantation April 28-29.

The Florida Soccer Club Spirit of 97 Elite boys soccer team, one of the competitive teams associated with the Temple Terrace Soccer Association, has a reason to celebrate.

At the beginning of the season, they were one of the lowest-ranked teams in the state. But after winning three games and outscoring higher-ranked teams by a combined score of 7-2, the boys swept their U14 bracket and got an automatic bye to the Sweet 16 of the State Cup.

The team will travel to Plantation April 28-29 to play in the tournament.

“Head Coach Harris McIlwain has created a team without any real superstars and eight new players not on last year’s roster—a team of young men who are devoted, hard working, and never say quit—into underdogs that believe they can do it,” said Gary Haag, the team’s fundraising coordinator.

Not only are the boys now in the State Cup Sweet 16, they have also been invited to travel to England to play five games in July prior to the Olympics.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these boys,” Haag said. “Unfortunately, our team funds are quickly drying up. Many of our parents are struggling in today’s economic environment. Thus, we are reaching out to the Temple Terrace community to see if they can help this team with a donation to help offset the cost of game day uniforms, tournament entry fees, travel cost and to help those that are having a tough time paying their membership dues.”

Those interested in sponsoring the team can visit its website (www.spirit97tampa.com) and donate via PayPal. Team sponsors will receive 12 months of advertising on the team website. Donations are tax deductible.

For more information, or if you prefer to donate without using the Internet, contact Haag at 813-263-8218 or haagar4soccer@verizon.net.

“While there are many levels of giving, please know that we appreciate any donation that you feel is appropriate for yourself or your business,” Haag said.

l mcilwain March 29, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Susan Johnson-Manicke March 30, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Go Spirit! Best goalie ever!


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