Teams in 10 divisions competed in the 21st annual North Florida Regional Championship at the Indian Trails Sports Complex in Palm Coast.
Soccer players of all ages from Florida and south Georgia traveled to Palm Coast on June 11 for the 3v3 Challenge North Florida Regional Championship.
The Inter-United Soccer Club hosted 69 teams in 10 divisions in the Challenge Sports event at the Indian Trails Sports Complex. This was the 21st year the event has been in Palm Coast.
The divisions ranged from under-8 boys to men and women. Each team could have as many as six players with three players on the field at one time. All three players play field positions. There are no goalkeepers.
The fields are 30 yards by 20 yards for age U6, U7 and U8 teams and 30 yards by 40 yards for U9 and above. The goals are 8 feet wide and 4 feet high.
The tournament was a qualifier for the Challenge Sports National Championship on July 28-31 at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports.
The Freestylers 08 of Palm Coast finished second in the Under-16 Girls Second Division. The team had already qualified for nationals in a previous tournament. The Freestylers had a 3-2 record in this event with both losses coming to the Goats, a team from St. Johns County.
“For us, it was a learning experience. Most of our girls have been playing (3 on 3) for two years.”
The Goats scored 12 goals in all five of their games. If a team scores 12 goals, the game automatically ends. The Freestylers were the only team to score against the Goats, losing 12-2 in pool play and 12-3 in the championship. The Freestylers won 4-3, 11-3 and 6-1 in their other games.
“This was more of a prep for us,” said Freestylers coach Beto Aguilar. “(The Goats are) probably the top team in the state of Florida. For us, it was a learning experience. Most of our girls have been playing (3 on 3) for two years.”
This was the third year that Inter-United has hosted the tournament.
“I was a director at Challenge Sports, so we’ve been doing this tournament for a long time,” said Inter-United president Jim Powell. “I never thought we’d be living here and hosting the tournament.”
Powell and his wife, Jennie, moved their club from Apopka to Palm Coast three years ago.
Jim Powell said all of Inter-United’s proceeds from the tournament will go to the club’s IU Academy in Kenya, a school for kindergarten through third-grade students who live in an impoverished area near Nairobi.
“Every year we add another grade to the school,” he said.