If you need a break from the typical spring sports action this weekend, Devola is the place to be.
That is where the 23rd annual Marietta Soccer Classic will be held. Preliminary games begin 8 a.m. Saturday and will run through Sunday, when the championship games will be played.
All proceeds from the event go to the Marietta Soccer League. "We're excited for a big weekend," said tournament director Eric Keffer. "We're hoping for some good weather."
Two participants from last year’s Marietta Soccer Classic battle for the ball during a game in Devola.
Weather has presented a challenge in preparing for the tournament this week but Keffer believes everything will run smoothly.
"We've got a phenomenal group of volunteers," he said.
"The forecast is looking okay. I think we'll be alright."
88 teams from four different states are expected to compete, with about 12 to 15 of those teams being local. The age brackets will go from U8 up to U16. Being club level, matches are very competitive and should make for some high-quality soccer.
Club soccer is great tool for young players to use to prepare for the varsity and even collegiate levels.
"Kids already know the Xs and Os going into high school because of the experience the gain at the club level."
For some of the local players, this weekend is a chance to showcase their abilities in front of their friends and family. Club teams go to about four or five tournaments in the spring. "(The Marietta Soccer Classic) allows our local teams to play on their home turf, which is always good," Keffer explained.
It figures to be an action-packed weekend at the Devola Soccer Complex.
Keffer had high praise and appreciation for everyone who makes the tournament possible.
"There are so many people that have to come together for an event like this to happen."