Raiders take 3rd in Classic
by SARALYN NORKUS Banner Sports Writer
Mar 17, 2014 | 409 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print

THE CLEVELAND RAIDERS closed out the Cleveland Classic with a 1-all tie with Dobyns-Bennett Saturday evening. Defender Chris Pistrang (11) aids keeper Zach Martin as he kicks the ball away from an incoming Indian player. Banner photo, SARALYN NORKUS
THE CLEVELAND RAIDERS closed out the Cleveland Classic with a 1-all tie with Dobyns-Bennett Saturday evening. Defender Chris Pistrang (11) aids keeper Zach Martin as he kicks the ball away from an incoming Indian player. Banner photo, SARALYN NORKUS
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After hosting the Sixth Annual Cleveland Classic, which is the largest on record with 18 participating teams, the Cleveland Raiders finished in third place overall.

The three-day event brought in teams from all over Middle, Southeast and Northeast Tennessee and even included a pair of tough competitors from North Georgia.

The scoring system for the Cleveland Classic was as follows: a 10-point maximum for each game, which included six points for a win, three points for a tie and no points for a loss. Teams also got one point for every goal scored for up to a maximum of three, and a point for a shutout.

The Dalton Catamounts, the 2013 Georgia State Champions, finished first in the tournament with a total of 24 points.

Coming in second were the Oakland Patriots, who finished the tournament with 22 points.

The Blue Raiders finished in third place with a total of 21 points, while Beech came in fourth with 20 points.

Fifth place was a tie between Northwest Whitfield and Dobyns-Bennett, with the teams finishing with 19 points. Both Northwest Whitfield and Dobyns-Bennett had a plus-3 goal differential, three goals allowed and six goals scored.

Dalton, Oakland and Cleveland all finished out the tournament with a record of 2-0-1.

The Catamounts defeated McMinn County 7-0 on Thursday, had a 2-2 tie with Dobyns-Bennett on Friday and topped Maryville 2-0 on Saturday.

Oakland defeated Soddy-Daisy 6-1 on Friday, then on Saturday beat Maryville 3-2 and tied Northwest Whitfield 1-all in a nighttime match.

Cleveland beat the Siegel Stars 2-1 on Thursday, topped Coffee County 5-1 on Friday and finished things up with a 1-1 tie with Dobyns-Bennett.

Walker Valley faced the Blackman Blaze Saturday night and despite their best efforts, were unable to close out the Cleveland Classic with a win.

“We didn’t get the results we wanted over the weekend but this was a tough competition. These are the teams we need to be able to compete with,” Mustang coach Tom Bayliss said.

The Blaze came away with a 4-0 win over the Mustangs, who had previously lost 2-nil to both Coffee County and Sullivan South.

Walker Valley had seven shots on goal, while Blackman had eight.

“These games showed us our strengths and areas that need work. That's what we will do, work this week to get better,” Bayliss commented. “By the end of the season we want to be stronger in those areas so we can compete well in district and region play. This is a talented group of players who work hard. They will improve because they are hungry for success.”

On Tuesday the Mustangs will travel to Rhea County for a 6 p.m. game.

Both Bradley Central and Cleveland will be at home on Tuesday, with the Bears hosting Hixson at 5:30 and the Raiders taking on Cookeville at 7 p.m.

Tournament Rankings

1. Dalton – 24 points

2. Oakland – 22 points

3. Cleveland – 21 points

4. Beech – 20 points

5. NW Whitfield – 19 points (Both NW and DB had plus-3 goal differential, 3 goals allowed, and 6 goals scored)

5. Dobyns Bennett – 19 points

7. East Ridge – 19 points (more goals allowed than NW and DB)

8. Blackman – 17 points

9. McMinn Co. – 15 points

10. Ooltewah – 12 points (better goal differential than Soddy and fewer goals allowed than Maryville)

11. Maryville – 12 points (better goal differential than Soddy)

12. Soddy – 12 points

13. Knox West – 10 points

14. Boyd – 9 points (better goal differential than Coffee Co.)

15. Coffee Co. – 9 points

16. Sullivan South – 8 points

17. Siegel – 5 points

18. Walker Valley – 0 points