By Chris Chaney
The Clermont Central Soccer Association is keeping things kicking on Clermont County soccer fields all over the area, running a league and annual tournament that gives kids of all backgrounds the opportunity to play soccer.
Jeff Scheadler, the Vice President of the CCSA and the president of the Goshen chapter of the organization, billed the CCSA as an alternative to playing select soccer as well as a primary feeder to many of the high schools around the county.
“We are almost a non-profit. Basically, it’s just rec soccer,” Scheadler said. “We try to keep as many kids in it as we can so that the high schools have some kids that will play.
“There’s a lot of kids that go and play select, but these days select is just a higher-priced rec, if you ask me. Back when I was a kid, select was the best of the best. They were the 20 best kids who went out for it and the rest went back to their rec team. It’s not like that anymore.”
The CCSA is made up of 11 districts — Amelia, Batavia, Bethel, Blanchester, CNE, Felicity, Goshen, Hamersville, New Richmond, Western Brown and Williamsburg — and a variety of different age groups, from under-9 to under-14, and for both boys and girls.
“We play our season out and then at the end of the season you have your seasonal champions and then we have a tournament at the end where all the teams get to play again,” Scheadler explained. “The tournament is two-and-out.”
The basic gist of the Association and their leagues and tournaments are very similar to that of the high school and the Southern Buckeye Conference.
The teams play a normal schedule of games against the various other teams from the different districts in a 10-game season, meaning a team would play every other team except one.
However, Scheadler pointed out that it usually works out that there is at least one district that doesn’t have a team for each age group, so they would play the other nine teams who have an age-appropriate team.
Once the regular season completes, a regular season champion is crowned. While the regular season champion get rewarded for the sum of their hard work, each team has a chance to redeem their season with the year-ending tournament, which took place this past weekend at Clermont Northeastern.
Each team from each age group is put into a bracket and plays a two-and-out tournament until a champion is determined for each age group.
The winner of the main bracket will face the winner of the loser’s bracket in the final to decide the tournament champion. If the team from the winner’s bracket were to lose in the final, there would be a replay of the game because of the two-and-out rule.
The tournament champion will be the only team left without two losses.
“This tournament went pretty good,” Scheadler said of the 2012 installment of the CCSA Tournament. “We had the most shootouts that I’ve seen in years.”
A penalty shootout is when the game is played fully, but ends in a tie. From there, the teams play in an overtime period and if no winner has been decided, each team gets five shots on goal, one-on-one with the opposing team’s goal keeper.
“I think this year we had the most that we have ever had as far as overtime games and shootouts,” Scheadler said.
The most important task of the CCSA is to give the kids from around the area a place to enjoy the sport of soccer and give them an alternative to the higher-priced select soccer circuit.
The CCSA also does a spring league in which they have high-school age kids compete in a co-ed league that Scheadler says is always very entertaining.
For more information about the CCSA, their leagues and tournaments, log on to their website at https://sites.google.com/site/ccsasoc/.