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3v3 soccer team qualifies for nationals

Three Richmond Hill soccer teams fared well at the 3v3 qualifying Jekyll Island 3V3 Summer Soccer Blast tournament this week. The 13U Mongoose, the 7U Dragons and the U13 Lady Raiders all won the right to compete at the upcoming 3v3 Soccer Challenge National Championships.

3v3 Soccer is the fastest growing soccer format in the United States. It has simple rules and lots of action to keep the youth engaged and active throughout the game. Games are played with 3 players at a time on the field for each team. Fields are smaller in size than regulation soccer fields but they still seem pretty large for six 7-year olds to cover in 24 minute games. Most teams use a rotating substitute system to allow all players more time on the field and to provide adequate breaks for little guys during the hot summer games. Challenge Sports coordinates 3v3 Soccer on the National Scene.

The Lady Raiders won their first three games, but fell in their last two to finish third overall. The third berth allowed the girls to qualify for Nationals at Disney.

The Dragons ran, defended, sweated and laughed as they practiced their soccer skills and learned to work together. The Dragons also have a loyal following of parents and friends who have cheered them on throughout their inaugural season. All of these boys played soccer for RHRA during the spring and fall seasons and will attend Richmond Hill Elementary School this fall.

The team was created to give the boys a chance to improve their soccer skills over the summer. The team participated in regional tournaments held in Savannah and Jekyll Island. During those tournaments, the boys played teams ranging from Augusta, GA to Daytona Beach, FL. Their on-field play and execution earned the team an opportunity to compete for a National Title in the 7 year old age group. The team will travel to the 3v3 Challenge National Championships to be held August 1-3, 2008 at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, FL. The players are excited about the challenge of playing against premier teams from across the United States.

"From day one, these boys possessed good speed and ball control," Team Manager Sean Carroll said. "But what has been most impressive to see is how quickly the boys have picked up the team concept and how it has really enhanced their play. I’m sure the experience that they’ve gained this summer will make them better teammates in the future."

Over the next three weeks, the Dragons have the challenge of raising enough money to defray the costs for their travel and participation in this tournament. The team is asking for assistance from the local community to help meet their goal. Beef O’Brady’s will be hosting a fundraiser for The Dragons on Thursday, July 24 with 15 percent of the proceeds from each purchase benefiting the team. The Dragons are also accepting individual contributions. Anyone interested in giving support to the team can contact Sean Carroll at 727-5930 or

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