Boys take turn at Blast Off soccer tournament

Members of the FWFC Storm ‘00 Green and Kent United ‘00 Green go after the ball during a Blast Off game Friday at Saghalie Park.  - Casey Olson/The Mirror
Members of the FWFC Storm ‘00 Green and Kent United ‘00 Green go after the ball during a Blast Off game Friday at Saghalie Park.
— image credit: Casey Olson/The Mirror

The Federal Way Football Club was an impressive host yet again for the hundreds of players and family members in town the last two weekends.

The soccer association played host to 95 girls soccer teams during the first portion of the 2011 Blast Off Tournament at fields around the city. The tournament’s two-week run came to an end Sunday after 92 boys soccer teams took to the fields around Federal Way.

The two separate tournaments were played on 12 soccer fields around Federal Way and included teams from 56 different cities around Washington. This year’s two weekends of Blast Off included teams in the under-10 through U-18 age brackets.

Championship games were played on Sunday at Celebration Park and Saghalie Middle School.

The Federal Way Football Club was also gracious in allowing out-of-town teams to take home bracket championships during both weekends of the Blast Off Tournament. The club didn’t win any titles in either the girls or boys tournaments.

Of the 95 teams in the girls’ brackets, only two Federal Way teams even played in the championship game for their age group with both finishing second.

It was the same during the boys tournament. Two Federal Way Football Club teams played in title games. Storm ‘94 White lost to the Puget Sound Slammers in the 17-18 Bracket B title game, 1-0, and the Storm ‘00 White lost, 2-1, in the U-11 Bracket C championship round to SHSC Diamondbacks.

There were a total of 20 bracket champions crowned Sunday and each bracket generally included four teams, which were placed there by tournament officials based on the talent-level of each team.

The two Blast Off tournaments are used as the main fundraiser for the Federal Way Soccer Association. Tournament directors Perry and Sharon Woodford have been running Blast Off for over a decade.

The tournaments bring in tens of thousands of dollars. That money, which goes directly to the club, is tied to the $410 entry fee each team is required to pay to enter the tournament.

That number doesn’t account for all the money spent at local businesses by players, coaches and parents.

One big reason for the Blast Off tournaments’ popularity is the way the teams are placed in the skill-level brackets.

The Federal Way Football Club uses the four- to six-team sub-groups at each age, in an attempt to have teams of similar abilities compete against each other.

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