Grand Haven’s Soccer in the Sand tournament was a huge success last weekend, with over 3,000 players participating and over 25,000 people attending a game at the beach between the two days.
It was the first year that the city beach was also used, which helped with the scores of soccer-crazed players and fans.
It’s an ever-growing annual event, but the winners of the men’s and women’s open champions brackets were some familiar faces. A local team, Great Lakes Beach Soccer, managed by Rob Saurbaugh, won the Men’s Open division with a 4-3 victory over Flying Kick.
In the Women’s Open, Great Lakes Beach Soccer, managed by Mike Volmer, took home the championship with a 4-3 victory over Soccer in the Sand Team S.
“It worked out really really cool,” said Chris Lemay, who helped organize the event with his brother, Scott. “We had two stadiums. I don’t think you could write a better story with Great Lakes beach soccer winning it. They’re the ones who have been (with) it since the beginning.”
Lemay said he thought the community enjoyed the event.
“Everyone obviously loves the event for what it does for the economy,” Lemay said. “… (It’s) about having a good time; athletic achievement, having fun and being with your family. Because it’s a family event most of the business appreciate it. It’s just good clean fun.
“Coast Guard City USA, they’re stating to become Beach Soccer USA (too).
Read more of this story, including the winners in each division, in Saturday's print edition or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.