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Gators place at nationals
Team invited back to Disney for January tourney
Gators who made the trip to central Florida included (l-r) front row: Michael Subject, Robbie Bacon, Tyler Causer, Martin Causer and Brian Jackson. Middle row: Chris Schuster, Jacob Edgers, Dario Brown, Wesley Causer, Ethan Deemer and Cody Folker. Back row: Coaches Diane Jackson and April Causer. - photo by Photo provided.
The 11 players who make up the U14 and U16 Hinesville Gators soccer teams had one goal in mind as they decided to play 3V3 soccer this summer.
That goal was to qualify for the finals and play at the National 3V3 Soccer Tournament at the Walt Disney World Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla., in July.
The journey for the teams began in June as they competed and placed well in qualifiers. The U14 Gators, coached by Diane Jackson, came in second place in a qualifier in Carrolton. The U16 team, coached by April Causer, went to Savannah for a qualifier. Both teams went to Jekyll Island in July and once again placed well.
That made the Gators dream come true and on July 27, they headed to Disney World to compete at the Nationals. The U14 Gators played two games on the first day of competition and won both 6-3 and 7-2. The U16 team played only one game on the first day and lost 5-6.
The next day, a Saturday, the U14 lost the first game 3-4. After several rain delays they went on to play two more, winning both 6-1 and 6-4. This qualified them to play in the championship on Sunday. At the championship, the U14 Gators lost to the Scorpions 5-3.
The U16 won all their games on Saturday 8-7, 7-2 and 5-3, sending them to the championship game on Sunday as well. They lost to the Hammerheads in the last few minutes of the game 1-0.
Of course, some of the players went to the Disney parks after the tournament. And they get a chance to see Mickey Mouse again as both teams qualified for the World Kick It Championship at the Disney Sports Complex in January.
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