It was a perfect holiday weekend for area youths to spend at the parks and beaches before returning to school this week.
The weather was also perfect for soccer, and more than 700 9-to-16-year-old boys and girls showed their skills in the second annual Journal National Capitol Invitational Round Robin soccer tournament that concluded yesterday at Bowie.
A total of 54 teams, 20 from outside the metropolitan area, played 105 games during the three-day soccer festival.
"It was good stiff competition, not many runaways," said John Johnson, president of the Bowie Soccer Association, which cosponsored the event with the Journal Newspapers, Inc. "The kids got a chance to meet people from many other areas and that establishes beautiful friendships."
Saltfleet of Ontario, Canada won both the 10 and 14-year-old boys championships and Mississauga of Ontario took home the 12-year-old boys title.
The Canadian teams are tough but we have fine teams here also" said tourney director Ed Karlson.. "We did have a couple of protests - one on a referee's call and the other when the timekeeper allowed one-half to run over - but both were disallowed. Other than that there were no problems."
Neither of the Saltfeet teams had a problem. The 10-year-olds won early games by scores of 10-0, 9-0, 4-1, and 5-2 before thrashing Montgomery United, 5-1, in the final.
Joel Walker, a talented 9-year-old center forward for the winners, said he thought the Canadian teams were a bit better, but all of the teams played well.
"The trip and the games were nice.It was a lot of fun," said Walker, who scored six goals and had 16 assists in the five games. "I like soccer but I love ice hockey. When I grown up I want to be a hockey goalie.
In the finals, Landover (senior girls 19 and over) topped Braddock Road, 4-1, Mississauga (10-year-old boys) blanked West End (N.J.), 2-0, Saltfleet (14-year-old boys) nipped the Bowie Blazers, 2-1, Bowie (12-year-old girls) won a six-team round robin, and the Bwie Trojans (16-year-old boys) defeated the Annandale Red Barons, 3-2.
The Bowie-Annandale game was easily one of the most evenly matched and exciting contests of the tournament.
Kirk Miller of Parkdale High School scored his second goal of the game with six minutes remaining to give Bowie the victory and the title.
The quick Miller scored Bowie's first goal and teammate John Bourne of Carroll added Bowie's other goal Annandale got both its goals from Lewis Pages of McLean.
Pages, a holler guy and a talented winger, was anxious to beat the Bowie team because of an earlier tourney loss, 2-1.
"They got us once and we got another chance since we made it to the finals," said Pages, who scored four goals in the five-game series. "The competition is hard and you can't let [TEXT OMITTED FROM SOURCE]
The tough competition also excited many of the parents in attendance.
During one game involving two 10-year-old teams, a parent yelled an obscenity at no one in particular when her son missed an almost sure goal.
Another sympathetic parent consoled her and said "That's O.K., we're losing pretty bad and cursing is permissable at this point."
One of the Canadian teams put the tournament in a different perspective.
"It cost us approximately $3,000 for the trip," said Saltfleet treasurer Irene Walker. "If we had lost (in the early rounds) we could have done a lot of sightseeing but we also would have spent more money. So maybe it's a blessing that we went to the final."