Elks-sponsored soccer stars shine locally, Kansas is next
Soccer is a kick! That’s the National Elks Association motto for their annual Soccer Shoot for youth ages 15 and under.
On Sept. 21 on the Moore Fields, 121 young players aged 7 to 14 participated in the event organized by the Aspen Elks Lodge. Winners in each of four age groups for boys and girls, U-8, U-10, U-12 and U-14, advanced to a district Soccer Shoot held in Aspen on Sept. 26. Aspen’s participants competed against players from Glenwood Springs, Craig, Rifle, Summit County, Salida and Leadville.
Top scorers advanced to the state competition in Canon City on Oct. 10.
The lineup from Aspen included Alegra Adams, Nora Fox, Soren Elisha, Taylor Adam, Teagan Kidd, Katherine Issa, Patrick Hurley, Rocco Margjeka, Duke Decker, Avea Spears, Augusta Berg, Roswell Bennett and Jack Nims.
Alegra Adams, a second-grader at Aspen Elementary and Patrick Hurley, a 9-year-old home-schooler, won their divisions at the state competition.
Hurley’s win at the state competition came after an exciting tiebreaker with five additional shots.
He remembered what his coach told him: “Take eight steps back, one to the side, take a deep breath and say ‘be cool.’ Then when I’m ready, take three steps forward, plant your foot and shoot the ball. It worked!’
Hurley’s first words after the winning kick were, “I represented my team. I’m so excited! I’ve never been to Kansas before!”
This weekend, Adams and Hurley are competing in the Elks Mid-America Regional Soccer Shoot in El Dorado, Kansas. They are representing Colorado in their age groups and competing against players from Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.
The Aspen Elks #224 has been a long-time sponsor of the Soccer Shoot, which was rejuvenated this year after a two -year hiatus due to COVID-19. In 2015, 2016, 2017, Jenny Ellis, an Aspen resident, represented Colorado, winning in two of her three appearances at the Mid-America Soccer Shoot.
Soccer … it’s a kick!