Kickers to defend home fields against the masses at weekend tournament
Written by Than Acuff
Wednesday, 26 June 2013
Soccer in the Butte
Once again soccer is reaching a feverish pitch in the good ol’ U.S. of A. With the men’s team rattling off three wins in a row to qualify for the 2014 World Cup and Major League Soccer (MLS) setting attendance records this season, it appears soccer is taking hold in ‘Merica.
Hell, I even went to a bar to watch the U.S. play Honduras.
This weekend, you can catch soccer in person as the Crested Butte Kickers host the 19th annual Crested Butte Soccer Invitational coed adult tournament.
The energy around the tournament has waxed and waned over the past several years but this year it is reaching a boiling point once again with eight teams signed up. The list includes a handful of Front Range powerhouses including teams from Colorado Springs and Denver, and a Boulder team that typically draws collegiate hot shots in an effort to dominate mountain ball tournaments.
The Crested Butte Kickers are and have always been a hodgepodge of soccer talent. In fact, the team is a walking museum of local soccer. But this year may be one of the strongest teams the Kickers have assembled in years.
Top of the list is the venerable Brian Fenerty. Fenerty is 50 years young and has been a part of the Kickers for close to 30 years. And while a recent visit to a local orthopedic surgeon determined he has no ACL in one knee, chances are if he’s upright, he’s playing.
Aside from Fenerty, Heather Duryea has been the most consistent Kicker the past two decades. Other than taking a two-year sabbatical to give birth and raise twins into their toddler years, Duryea has been on the field and a proven threat in the offensive third.
John Barney is another classic Kicker, having spent years on the road as part of the Crested Butte traveling soccer circus in the ’90s and will bring his keen soccer acumen to the field this weekend.
There is one more Kicker in his 40s still chasing the dream and he may either return to the field this weekend or remain on the sidelines in an advisory role.
The Perkins family, Dusty and Darcie, was a new addition to the program three years ago and with their history of Division I play, offer the Kickers additional skill, poise and intensity. Look for Dusty to split his head open again, going 9-0 for the ball in the air.
The 30-somethings bring the glut of talent to the squad with the likes of Drew Canale, Ian Elder, Joe Ballageer and Matt Schmalz hitting game pace with several nights spent playing pick-up.
Cole Britton of indoor soccer fame has been seen on the pitch this spring and will bring much needed speed to the Kickers side. For years the team has lacked any true youth movement but this year should be different as the son of Brian, Cal Fenerty, joins the squad this weekend.
There’s some fresh talent that could prove the difference for the Kickers with Ryan Sullivan and Austin Ross on board for some classic Crested Butte soccer.
As is often the case, the success of the Kickers rests on the feet of the women. While both Duryea and Darcie are in, the rest of the women’s side of things remains a mystery. Polly McGrane has been a big part of the Kickers the past couple of years and should be back in action this weekend along with Molly Erickson but the Kickers could benefit from two more talented women.
The big question remains: Who is going to stand between the pipes?
Will Todd “The Albatross” Dohlman get his shifts covered at work so he can step in net or will Molly Keating be called upon once again. Standing six-foot-five, Dohlman provides the Kickers security in net, allowing them to shift into a more offensive-oriented line up. But, Keating is as good a goalie as the Kickers have played with in the past decade and offers a surprising twist to the typical coed line-up in tournament play.
The Kickers open the weekend on Saturday, June 29 against Colorado Springs at 9 a.m. at Rainbow field. They double down at high noon when they face Denver at the school field.
Sunday’s games depend on Saturday’s results but if the Kickers string some wins together, they could possibly vie for the tournament title in the championship game on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Rainbow field.
Take a moment from your hectic weekend and cheer on the Kickers. Chances are the 12th man could push the Kickers through to the finals.