Dungeness Cup blooms in third year

North Kitsap Ballistic’s Zach Meek, left, vies for the ball with Benjamin Schneider of Storm King U12 at the inaugural Dungeness Cup in 2012.  - Sequim Gazette file photo
North Kitsap Ballistic’s Zach Meek, left, vies for the ball with Benjamin Schneider of Storm King U12 at the inaugural Dungeness Cup in 2012.
— image credit: Sequim Gazette file photo

Sequim Gazette staff

Soccer on the North Olympic Peninsula is booming — and even more so in this, a World Cup year.

The third Dungeness Cup brings more than 65 youth teams to Sequim Aug. 1-3. Teams feature players in ages ranging from 8 and 9 years old playing six-on-six matches — new to this year’s tourney — and teams with 16- and 17-year-old players in both boys and girls divisions in standard 11-on-11 games.

This year, the group added gold and silver level play for some age groups for boys and girls along with U9 and U10 tournaments for about 20 teams.

“With the addition of the little guys, it has helped really bring it to the next level,” Kevin Parker, organizer for the Dungeness Cup, said.

Games are at the Albert Haller Playfields at the City of Sequim’s Water Reuse Demonstration Site just north of Carrie Blake Park.

There is no admission for watching the games.

Parker said the Dungeness Cup is an opportunity to extend community events in Sequim.

“It should be exciting for the stores in the community,” he said. “With the influx of young people, it’s going to make the town feel alive.”

Last year’s event saw the number of teams more than double, from 22 to 47. Tournament director Tim Tucker said last year he estimated that as many as 2,000-2,500 moms, dads, friends and players showed up for at least one of the games. Sequim Family Advocates, a group of volunteers that formed in part to build the fields, promised the city that the new facility would generate revenues for the city and area businesses.

Soccer continues to grow in popularity nationwide and Parker said that has hit Sequim in particular.

“We have a ton of kids playing soccer,” he said. “With the addition of Albert Haller Playfields, people are playing there all the time.”

The tourney is sanctioned by Washington State Youth Soccer and is open to Washington Youth Soccer teams, U.S. Youth Soccer teams and youth teams from British Columbia and Canada.

Signed up for this year’s event are teams from Forks, Kitsap County, Bainbridge Island, Tacoma, Olympia, Seattle and Wenatchee, along with area teams, Sequim Junior Soccer and Storm King FC.

Sponsors include First Federal, High Energy Metals, Inc., Price Ford Lincoln, Shaltry & Rudd Orthodontics and State Farm.

Parker said he and fellow organizers hope to grow in the Cup into a festival atmosphere.

“We’ve talked about adding music,” he said. “I’m sure it’ll happen next year.”

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