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Soccer in the Sand a smashing success in its 10th installment

Josh VanDyke • Jun 25, 2018 at 12:28 AM

GRAND HAVEN — Other than some rainfall Sunday, this weekend's Soccer in the Sand tournament shined an optimistic light on the passion for the sport along the Lakeshore.

With 400 teams signed up and more than 4,000 participants of all ages kicking it in the sand, it's clear that beach soccer is a growing phenomenon across the country and its Grand Haven installment is here to stay.

"This weekend was awesome," said event founder Chris Lemay on Sunday evening. "The weather gave us some problems today, but everyone stuck it out and had a great time. We had our largest turnout yet, and it was a weekend full of competitive and entertaining soccer.

"We signed a five-year contract with the Grand Haven State Park last year, and we fully intend to complete that contract and hopefully, keep it going long after that. This year's event really showed how streamlined everything can be, and it was probably one of our smoothest run events yet. We really feel like we've found a winning formula here and we're hoping the numbers continue to grow as a result."

The event kicked off with a free youth soccer clinic, hosted by the Great Lakes Beach Soccer team.

"That was really cool to see," added Lemay. "All the kids really enjoyed learning the finer points of beach soccer and the guys from Great Lakes Beach Soccer did an excellent job of running the drills, showing the kids how to do things properly and then they played a really entertaining Pro-Am game shortly after that.

"Saturday was all the preliminary games, so there was a lot of action out there. There was soccer going non-stop from 8:30 a.m. until four or five o'clock, so it was a full day's worth of entertainment."

One surprise during bracket play was a team in the Men's Open Pro-Am. The Water Buffalos, a team comprised of mostly former Grand Haven High School soccer standouts, upset perennial powerhouse Great Lakes Beach Soccer in the semifinals before losing to two-time defending champion Fresh Water Beach Soccer Club in overtime of the championship game.

"They are a local team that hadn't turned any heads before this weekend, but they really did a nice job on Sunday," said Lemay of the Water Buffalos. "They upset Great Lakes Beach Soccer and gave Fresh Water (Beach Soccer Club) on a real run for their money, too. They played a golden goal (three-on-three sudden death) overtime and Fresh Water got the best of them.

"They put themselves on the map today, and it's cool to see a young local club emerge like that. They will probably be the next wave of Pro-Am level talent that competes for championships year in and year out."

Lemay was complimentary of the overall flexibility and professionalism of all the teams to adjust to beach soccer after most play strictly on grass or turf

"It's so cool that all these local teams are so professional about the game and adjusting to the change of playing surface," he added. "The kids are loving it and our youth divisions are growing and growing. Once they come in and try out the sport, they don't usually leave. We're excited about the direction of the event and we're hoping to be a mainstay in Grand Haven for a long time to come.

"The State Park and the city were great, the Harbor Transit was a huge help and all the volunteers and parents that donated their weekends to this year's event were outstanding. We're looking forward to keeping this going on, and hopefully, we'll have an even bigger turnout next summer."

FLIGHT RESULTS

MEN'S OPEN PRO-AM

SEMIFINALS

FRESH WATER BSC def. SWOLE CITY, 8- 1

WATER BUFFALOS def. GREAT LAKES BEACH SOCCER, 7-3

FINAL

FRESH WATER BSC def. WATER BUFFALOS, 6-5

MEN'S U18

FINAL

MICHIGAN FIRE JUNIORS def. FIGHTING KAWHIS, 5-0.

COED OPEN

DIVISION 1

GREAT LAKES BEACH SOCCER def. SHORELINE BSC, 9-3

DIVISION 2 BEACH

BRAD&CHAD 4, DUMP TRUCKS 3

DIVISION 2 SURF

NOT YOUR HIGH SCHOOL ROSTER def. GOAL GOAL POWER RANGERS, 7-2

U18

FINALS

SHEESH def. NONE SSS, 7-6.

U19

FINAL

LAKESHORE PREMIER SAND ANTS def. HUDSONVILLE UNITED, 6-5

U20

CHAMPIONS: NARP'S

BOYS U8

TEAM DESPACITO def. HURON VALLEY JAGUARS, 6-3

BOYS U9

SAND FIRE def. USA BORGMAN, 8-0

BOYS U10

DIVISION 1

CHAMPIONS: MI JAGUARS SAND JAGS

DIVISION 2

CHAMPIONS: SANDLOT GANG

DIVISION 2 BEACH

CHAMPIONS: SCOR MEULENSTEEN MESSI KICKERS

BOYS U11

DIVISION 1

JAGUARS RUSH HOUR def. LEGENDS MAFC SAND DUDES, 6-2

DIVISION 2

SOCCER BALLERS def. GRAND LEDGE U11 CZ, 5-2

DIVISION 3 SURF

USA BC def. CRYSTAL CARPET CARE, 7-3

BOYS U12

DIVISION 1

CHAMPIONS: MFJ SAND FURY

DIVISION 2 BEACH

CHAMPIONS: SCOR SAND ASSASSINS

DIVISION 2 SURF

CHAMPIONS: PIER DESTRUCTION

BOYS U13

DIVISION 1

SANDTOWN def. HOOLIGANS 05, 7-3

DIVISION 2 SURF

IT'S US AGAIN def. LAKESHORE PREMIER PIER PRESSURE, 6-2

BOYS U14

DIVISION 1

CHAMPIONS: RIVER CITY BLACK REVOLUTION

DIVISION 2 BEACH

SAND SHARKS def. SOCCER STUDS, 6-2

BOYS U15

DIVISION 1

CANTON CELTIC 03 BLACK def. LAKESHORE PREMIER SC LOCALS FC, 5-4

DIVISION 2 BEACH

CANTON CELTIC SUMMER HEAT def. USA BEACH BOYZ, 8-5

BOY U16

DIVISION 1

LSPSC TOO LEGIT def. SANDSTORM, 8-3

BOYS U17

DIVISION 1

LAKESHORE PREMIER SNIPER GANG def. LÖS MÏGOS, 7-3

DIVISION 2 BEACH

CHAMPIONS: PORT CITY GROUP STRIKERS

GIRLS U9

DIVISION 1

MIDWEST UNITED BEACH BOMBS def. MIDWEST UNITED BEACH BLASTERS, 10-3

GIRLS U10

DIVISION 1

MIDWEST UNITED SAND STRIKERS def. MAFC LEGENDS, 7-1

DIVISION 2 BEACH

LAKESHORE SELECT U10 BRILL RIPTIDES def. LAKESHORE BEACH SOCCER, 5-4

GIRLS U11

DIVISION 1

WEST MICHIGAN WARRIORS def. MI HAWKS/MI JAGS ROCK STARZ, 5-4

DIVISION 2 SURF

BEACH BALLERS def. SAND STORM, 10-0

GIRLS U12

DIVISION 1

MIDWEST UNITED SAND SISTERS def. MICHIGAN ALLIANCE SAND STRIKERS, 4-3

GIRLS U13

DIVISION 1

CHAMPIONS: BEACH BABES

DIVISION 1 SOL

BEAUTIES AND THE BEACH def. MICHIGAN FIRE GOAL DIGGERS, 4-3

DIVISION 2 BEACH

SANDY STARFISH def. AYSO UNITED TEAM PRIMERA PLASTICS, 5-4

DIVISION 2 SURF

SPORTING COLUMBUS SAND def. SAND SHARKS, 10-1

GIRLS U14

DIVISION 1

NET HAWKS def. CRUSH04, 4-3

DIVISION 2 BEACH

SPORTING COLUMBUS SAND II def. PLYMOUTH BIG DAWGS, 6-2

GIRLS U15

DIVISION 1

CANTON CELTIC SALTY BEACHES def. MAFC, 2-1

GIRLS U16

DIVISION 1

CHAMPIONS: VICKSBURG RADAR

DIVISION 2 BEACH

THE GOONS def. TUFF-E-NUFF, 3-2

GIRLS U17

DIVISION 1

SAND STORM def. LEGENDS MAFC BEACH BABES, 3-2

DIVISION 2 SURF

CHAMPIONS: SPARTA VARSITY

DIVISION 2 BEACH

CHAMPIONS: LEGENDS MAFC SANDY BEACHES

WOMENS U18

CHAMPIONS: BEACH BUMS

WOMENS U20

ELITE DEV. SOCCER ED def. SANDCHESTER UNITED, 8-3

WOMENS OPEN

HOPE COLLEGE def. ACWS, 7-2

For full results, visit www.soccerinthesand.com/nationwide-beach-soccer-series/grand-haven-michigan

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