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By ZACH BIRDSONG
Tullahoma hosted the Kohl’s US Youth Soccer American Cup, the largest recreational youth soccer tournament in the United States, last weekend at Johnson Lane Recreational Area.
The Kohl’s American Cup offers youth soccer players an opportunity to play in a high-quality tournament in a fun, family-like atmosphere. The event is one of over 60 Kohl’s American Cup tournaments being held across the country from March to December.
The program started in 2000 as an avenue to highlight recreational soccer players and promote fair play. Players receive equal opportunities and benefits within their level of play, with an emphasis on participation, rather than competition.
This is the second-straight year that Tullahoma has hosted the Kohl’s American Cup. Devin Farmer, vice president of youth, recreation at the Tennessee State Soccer Association, feels Tullahoma is an ideal location for the event.
“The first year that you put a tournament on, you have a startup year and you’ll start to gain teams after that,” Farmer said. “This year, we have about 14 teams above what we were last year and that’s what we basically think that we can be in this location and in this facility. The facility has four fields. Without operating another venue, we are almost at capacity now. We’d like to keep it here and we’ve got some good people in this area, so we’d like to keep it here in Tullahoma if we can.”
Farmer, who works as an account manager at Rogers Group, Inc., volunteers at the Tennessee State Soccer Association. From that perspective, hosting the Kohl’s American Cup in Tullahoma is another benefit for him and his company.
“My real job is with Rogers Group and the other complex that Tullahoma has, is a Rogers Group complex,” Farmer said. “We want to be a part of the community. They have been good enough to allow me to work through soccer to be part of that community. Even though I’m from Columbia, we are still here and we want to support everything we can here in this area. The community relations benefit us through soccer has been really good and I’ve made some really good friends here in Tullahoma.”
Farmer added there are young volunteers involved with the Kohl’s American Cup and he hopes that it the tournament grows in the future.
“Some of these guys also have local teenagers,” he said. “I’m trying to let these guys [teenagers] see how to run the tournament and pay this forward a little bit.”
For more information about the Tullahoma Soccer Association, visit www.tullahomasoccer.org or contact Cindy Prebola at 931-841-5272.
For more information on US Youth Soccer, visit www.Usyouthsoccer.com.