A group of young Columbia County soccer players soon will get a chance to test their skills under the Southern California sun.
Six boys in the Patriots Select soccer program, ages 10 and under, will compete in the So Cal United Nike Invitational on Jan. 19-21.
Patriots soccer coach Wes Meadows said the So Cal Invitational is one of the more prestigious tournaments in the country for youth soccer.
Originally from Augusta, Meadows recently moved back to the area from Hawaii. He immediately began to reorganize the Patriots Select program.
"What I came in and tried to do with the Patriots is create opportunities for these kids and establish a club that's very similar to how clubs on the West Coast are run," he said. "They have the most successful youth soccer program in the country."
The players attending the tournament, as chosen by Meadows, are Seth Robinson, Jacob Vaiden, Nolan Boulineau, Heath Brace, Mekhi Honore and Trey Hammond.
They will join five young players from Los Angeles to compete in the tournament and scrimmages.
Also, the boys will attend a men's soccer game between the U.S. and Sweden, Meadows said.
"Going to California is more than just playing soccer," he said. "It's actually getting involved in the atmosphere and culture of Southern California. That's hands-down the best soccer in the country."
The boys conducted many fundraisers to cover their travel expenses. Donations, however, are still being accepted.
For more information, call (706) 589-0113.
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