Cleveland Classic begins today
by SARALYN NORKUS Banner Sports Writer
Mar 13, 2014 | 798 views | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print

THE SIXTH annual Cleveland Classic begins tonight at the Greater Cleveland Soccer Complex. In its sixth year, the Classic will include 18 teams playing at six different soccer venues. Banner photo, SARALYN NORKUS
THE SIXTH annual Cleveland Classic begins tonight at the Greater Cleveland Soccer Complex. In its sixth year, the Classic will include 18 teams playing at six different soccer venues. Banner photo, SARALYN NORKUS
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With the soccer season having just begun this week, Cleveland High School has been busy preparing for its sixth annual Cleveland Classic.

“Having the Classic at the beginning of the year is kind of our niche now,” quipped Cleveland head coach John Brose.

This year’s Classic is the largest on record, with 18 teams participating over the next three days at different soccer venues.

“This is the most teams we’ve had in our six years. All of last year’s teams were invited back and all are returning, and then we had some new ones who asked to come, so we’ve got 18 teams total playing at six different venues,” Brose stated. “We have some very high-caliber teams participating.

The venues for this year are the Greater Cleveland Soccer Complex, Lee University, Cleveland Middle School, Walker Valley, Ooltewah and the McMinn County Soccer Complex.

District 5-AAA soccer is well represented in the Classic, with Cleveland, Walker Valley, Ooltewah, Soddy-Daisy and McMinn County all participating in the event.

District 7-AAA teams Oakland, Blackman and Siegel are making the trip down from Murfreesboro as well as Coffee County, which is the lone 8-AAA team in the tournament. These teams could potentially be seen again by 5-AAA teams in the postseason.

Beech is coming down from Hendersonville and the Knoxville area will be represented by Knox West and Maryville.

Coming from the northeast is soccer powerhouse Dobyns-Bennett and Sullivan South.

Teams out of the Chattanooga area that are also participating are East Ridge and Boyd-Buchanan.

Georgia is also making a showing in the Cleveland Classic as 2013 State Champion Dalton and final four team Northwest Whitfield will make the short trip north.

“A lot of the tournament’s success is due to the help of our parents and the excellent venues we have to play at,” Brose explained. “We try to always get participating teams quality games against opponents that they wouldn’t normally see. I think that’s the formula for success.”

The cost of admittance to the tournament is $5 per session or a $12 pass that grants access to the entire tournament.

The different sessions are tonight, Friday night, Saturday morning and Saturday night. Weather forecasters are calling for fairly cool conditions tonight, with a low temperature around 33 degrees. Friday should warm up to a sunny 63 degrees, but a south wind could gust up to 25 mph, affecting game conditions. Friday night’s forecast calls for a low in the mid 40s and a 40 percent chance of rain. Saturday should see overcast conditions with a high near 60, but forecasters are calling for about a 50 percent chance of rain into the evening hours.

According to Coach Brose, there will be many quality soccer matches for fans to take in over the next few days.

“I think both games at the complex Thursday night will be good ones. You’ve got McMinn County, who has returned most of last year’s team, up against a Dalton team that won the state championship last year. Siegel and ourselves will be a pretty evenly matched game. That’s a possible substate road game, if you look down the road. Friday the big game is Dalton vs. Dobyns-Bennett at Lee University. We play Dobyns-Bennett on Saturday, which will be quite a test for us,” Brose said.

The 2013 District 5-AAA champion Blue Raiders enter the tournament coming off a 2-0 loss to Boyd-Buchanan in their first game of the season.

“I think our tournament will once again show us right away what we need to still work on going into district play,” Brose asserted. “We’ve got some really good soccer players on the team, it’s just a matter of figuring things out. “It’s a great group of kids who get along really well. The pieces are there to have a good year, we’ve just got to stay healthy.”

“We’re still praying for good weather. If we can get some good weather I think the tournament could be a great community wide thing,” Brose declared.

Sixth Annual Cleveland Classic Schedule

THURSDAY

at Greater Cleveland Soccer Complex

Dalton vs. McMinn County, 5:30

Cleveland vs. Siegel, 7:30

at Ooltewah

Ooltewah vs. Boyd Buchanan, 7

FRIDAY

Cleveland Classic

At Greater Cleveland Soccer Complex

Maryville vs Boyd-Buchanan, 4:30 p.m

Cleveland vs Coffee County, 6:30 p.m.

Sullivan South vs Walker Valley, 8:30 p.m

At Lee University

Soddy-Daisy vs Oakland, 5:30 p.m.

Dobyns-Bennett vs Dalton (Ga.), 7:30 p.m.

At Cleveland Middle School

NW Whitfield (Ga.) vs Knox West, 5:30 p.m.

Siegel vs Beech, 7:30 p.m.

At Ooltewah

Ooltewah vs Blackman, 7 p.m.

At McMinn Soccer Complex

McMinn County vs East Ridge, 7 p.m.

SATURDAY

At Greater Cleveland Soccer Complex

East Ridge vs Soddy-Daisy, 9 a.m

Blackman vs Dobyns-Bennett, 11 a.m.

Knox West vs East Ridge 4:30

Dobyns-Bennett vs Cleveland, 6:30

Oakland vs NW Whitfield (Ga.), 8:30

At Lee University

Knox West vs Ooltewah, 9 a.m.

Beech vs McMinn County, 11 a.m.

Dalton (Ga.) vs Maryville, 5:30

Coffee County vs Beech, 7:30

At Cleveland Middle School

Boyd-Buchanan vs Sullivan South, 9 a.m.

Oakland vs Maryville, 11 a.m.

Sullivan South vs Soddy-Daisy, 5:30

Blackman vs Walker Valley, 7:30

At Walker Valley

NW Whitfield (Ga.) vs Siegel, 9 a.m.

Walker Valley vs Coffee County, 11 a.m.