The Liberty County 10U All-Stars reached the semi-finals of the Demitri Cup in Columbus, Dec 1-2, losing just one game shy of earning an all-expense paid trip to Italy.
The Liberty County community rallied around the All-Star team to help get them to this tournament. Donations and support showered in from the Liberty County Recreation Department, Hinesville Soccer Association (Gators), and parents on and off the team.
The All-Stars held their own, beating a quality ball club in the quarter finals, despite having only played together for two weeks. The hopes of making it to Italy would be spoiled as the All-Stars lost in the semi-finals after facing a Smyrna team ranked 32 in the country.
“Sports help prepare young athletes for life, by teaching them good work ethic and learning how to win and lose like a Champion,” said Coach Major.
The weekend brought the kids together, and helped build a camaraderie amongst their peers, and emphasized the importance of having a great attitude both on and off the field.
“It was a weekend my son will never forget,” said Stephanie Pirl, mother of Donte Pirl.
Aaron Milan played as the team’s starting goal keeper, and had two saves in a win where the game went to penalty kicks.
Caden Wynn contributed as a striker and winger. His speed and ball skills gave the team an edge in scoring.
Demetrius (Meech) Dunkins offered critical defensive support for the team. Great athlete and brings the right attitude with his game.
Donte Pirl played several offensive positions, and scored a goal. His attitude and effort on the field helped keep the pressure on the opposing teams.
Being the only girl among all of the teams, Hailie Lee held her own and was not to be pushed around, scoring a goal.
Jake Hendrix, a young superstar amongst his age group, provided an explosive and dangerous offensive threat for the team utilizing both his speed and power. He also scored.
Kelvin McLeod is easily one of the best players, in his age group, in the State. His knowledge of the game, tenacious defense, fluid offense, and powerful leg, makes him a threat anywhere on the field.
Landon Collins is an offensive threat that plays his heart out. He has a great leg and helps push the tempo of the scoring attack.
Micheal Landers is amongst the fastest and reliable defensive defenders in his class. He also plays where asked, with the right attitude.
Jasper (Milo) Vantassel IV is a silent leader on the team, and puts in 100% in whatever is asked of him. He never backs down to any player in any situation.
Rory Miles certainly brings the entire package to his game. Defending as a goal keeper, left back, and controlling the offense as center mid, Rory is amazing wherever asked to play.
Zeyi Gordon scored on a direct kick from about 30 yards out in an impressive shot. He is a versatile defensive and offensive player.