Two Reston youth soccer teams won championships for their age groups last week in the Miami Junior Orange Bowl soccer tournament which featured 96 teams from the United States, Canada and Mexico.
In the finals of the 12-and-under age group championship, the Reston Knights defeated another Northern Virginia team, the Annandale Rockets, 4-1, to capture the title.
The Reston Raiders defeated Instituto Mexico, 3-1, for the 10-and-under championship.
Instituto Mexico, which also fielded a 12-and-under team that was defeated by the Knights in an earlier round, is Mexico's training ground for teams that eventually enter international competition. The 10-and-under Mexicans had been unbeaten and unscored against for a year before losing to the Raiders.
After defeating their first four opponents by a combined score of 24-0, the Raiders fell behind the Mexicans by a goal early in the championship game. The Mexicans, however, had their traditional fast-breaking offense neutralized by the Raiders' defense while Dave Motley, Mike Pfeffer and Chris Stewart scored to give Reston the victory.
The Knights had little trouble in three of their first four games, defeating two teams from Florida and one from Canada by a combined score of 12-0. But their game against Mexico was a see-saw battle in which the high-powered Mexican offense overcame the Knights' 3-1 edge to take a 4-3 lead into the game's final 10 minutes. With four minutes left in the game, Reston's Ron Jardine scored on a penalty shot, and with just 30 seconds remaining, the Knights' David Spofford scored his fourth goal of the game to give Reston a 5-4 victory.
In the championship game Reston and [WORD ILLEGIBLE] were tied, 1-1, in regulation play, sending the game into two 10-minute overtime periods. The Knights' Charlie Raphael, who had scored the tying goal late in regulation play, scored twice in overtime and Ron Jardine scored once, giving the Knights the title.
In other area sports news:
Several of the top area high school basketball teams are showing that it takes more than a one-man show to win in Northern Virginia. Hayfield has the area's top scorer in Billy Payne (27 points per game), but many of this year's more consistent winners have two players averaging 16 points per game or better.
Langley has Jim Pettit (21) and Doug Newburg (16). At Groveton, it's John Morris (16.5) and Keith Wilder (16). Robinson has Mike Tissaw (19.2) and Greg Dennis (19), while Wakefield has Ezell Stewart (21) and Tony Roberts (18).
LEE HIGH SCHOOL - Lee's athletic director Jim England called his recent "Basketball Day" experiment, which featured four consecutive basketball games - girls junior varsity, boys junior varsity, girls varsity and boys varsity - against Yorktown, "a success."
"The critical thing was the time schedule and it worked out okay," England said. The first game began at 3:30 p.m. and the last one started at 8:30 p.m., as scheduled. One admission covered all four games.
England decided to try the experiment "as an alternative" to traditional scheduling which generally has boys' and girls, teams playing at different schools on the same day, diluting fan support according to England.
Though England has not scheduled any more "days" for this basketball season, he said he intends to plan more for next year.
FALLS CHURCH HIGH SCHOOL - The Jaguars' basketball team won last week's Edison Holiday Tournament edging Edison, 40-39, in Thursday night's game, and squeaking past highly regarded Annandale, 51-50, for the championship on Friday.
The victories may have surprised some people who remember last year's poor court performance, but several local coaches note that this year's Falls Church team is likely to be tough in close games because of new head coach Tom Whitworth whom they consider an excellent strategist under pressure.
"He has them hustling and playing good defense," said one opposing coach who credited Whitworth, an assistant coach last year, with the strategy that led Falls Church to a one-point upset of Marshall in the final three seconds of last season's district tournament opener.
In the Edison Tournament, Falls Church again showed Whitworth's trademarks - defense and balance. No Jaguar scored more than 14 points in either of the two tournament victories, but five players had two-game totals in double figures.