Soccer Classic gives Mason coaches ‘a leg up’

Coach Paul Reedy’s busy weekend running from soccer field to soccer field is over. Now it’s Andy Schur’s turn.

The Mason Preseason Soccer Classic ran its course July 14-16 for Reedy’s boys teams while the women’s teams took the fields this weekend.

“It’s huge for us,” Reedy said after dividing his Mason program into four teams for the three-day classic. “We have so many kids that to try and do tryouts without it would take so much more time to sort through everyone.

“This gives us an opportunity to watch the kids in competition and it gives us a leg up on where some of the kids are.”

Reedy divided his group into a freshman team, a sophomore team and two varsity teams, but some of the players could move during tryouts to different teams.

“We had an idea of who is capable of playing varsity and on our first and second JV team,” Reedy said. “We have seen some this summer, but not as much as we were able to see during these three days.

“We graduated a lot of starters and we have a lot of competition for those positions. This type of weekend gives us an opportunity to see a lot of the players who are competing for those spots. We get to see if this player can play here and gives us an idea of what our depth looks like. It is really valuable.”

While scores were kept, Reedy was not concerned with the 13-4-3 combined mark by the four teams.

Instead the coach was looking for competitiveness and toughness as the players grinded through a long, hot weekend.

“When you have played three games in two days, Sunday shows who is mentally tough,” Reedy said. “It shows you who can still play when they are tired. We tried to remain exemplary of the competitive spirit, but we wanted to see who stands out when they are in the fatigue stage.”

Reedy used three of his 10 allotted coaching days for practices leading into the classic and the three days of the tournament for three more.

Reedy is expecting close to 90 players for tryouts when they start in August.

“Tryouts are never easy,” Reedy said. “But it is right around the corner. Time just flies by.”

Schur has broken his girls teams down by class, fielding a freshman, sophomore, junior and a senior team.

“This is good because it gives them a chance to play with their friends,” Schur said. “There is no judgment call on who plays where and it gives them a chance to play with their classmates, which makes it nice.”

Much like Reedy, Schur had simple goals for the weekend.

Topping his list was for the Comets to come through the weekend healthy with tryouts looming in August.

“We want to stay healthy, but we want to see if they can take something from practice and translate it to the field,” Schur said. “We are looking to compete. Not neccesarily for wins, but each kid getting a good opportunity to play in the positions they are competing for and for them to get to play with a different combination of players.”

For the freshmen, it is their first steps in the Comet program and Schur’s first chance to figure out where they might stand when tryouts take place.

And much like Reedy, Schur knows there is something special to look for in the final games today.

“Sunday is one of those days that gut trunps skill,” Schur said. “You find the kids who will run through a wall for the program. Those kids stick out in the fifth game.”

More than anything, Schur is ready to see his players in action once again.

“We hear how they are doing in the club seasons and with their trainers, but this is a chance for us to see how all the hard work has paid off,” Schur said. “I love to see how much they have grown since October.”

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