This year's event is the largest shootout yet as well as the largest event the complex has ever hosted with 70 teams registered from NC & VA. Teams are coming from as far as Northern Virginia, Raleigh, Charlotte, and Richmond. Hotels in Martinsville- Henry County will be packed and restaurants, and other area businesses will feel the effect of a projected attendance of well over 2,500 visitors to the area. Boys and Girls ages 8 - 18 will compete with their families watching on.
There of course is also a local draw with the shootout as there are 12 PYSL teams participating in variety of age groups. This event is a fundraiser for the PYSL and is the culmination of the fall travel and academy seasons. "This event has become an established tournament in Virginia bringing in several different teams each year from all over" says Enda Crehan, Director of Coaching for the PYSL. "Our teams have gotten much better over the years, competing at a high level at other events and I expect them to compete on all levels at our home event. The academy or PYA program has really helped develop our travel teams at a young age and it is really showing up on the field and in the results" says Crehan.
In addition to the 9 fall travel teams competing from the PYSL there will also be a Boys U10 and Girls U10 team made up of fall PYA participants. "This event gives the academy teams a chance to compete at a high level with teams from outside the area and prepare them for the travel program" says Crehan. There is also a U12 Recreation all-star team from the PYSL recreation program that will be competing.
The SRSC and PYSL have contracted the services of National Soccer Events (NSE) out of Knoxville, TN to run the shootout this year. NSE has several years experience with organizing events all over the southeast and they will handle all onsite duties for the event. "We are thrilled to have an efficient and productive tournament organizer this year with NSE. With the growth of the PYSL programs over the years it is only fitting that the club's signature event also is growing", Billy Russo, Director of Operations for the Smith River Sports Complex and PYSL Board Member. "The shootout gives a chance for the PYSL travel teams and the program as a whole to showcase their talent, program, and their facility", says