RAPID CITY, S.D. – The Monument, formerly known as the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, hosted Black Hills Rapids Winter Classic Indoor Soccer Tournament. The sport event has been a staple of the community for 24 years.
Each year, the Black Hills Rapid Soccer Club organizes two indoor tournaments for boys and girls in the U-9 through U-19 age group. Among the precautionary measures taken on this season, containing the crowd size was a big one.
“We have a lot lower numbers. We’re taking precautions with more time in-between games. We have less venue space than normal, so we’re about at half capacity this year” said Black Hills Rapid Soccer Club Manager, Kasha Roberts.
Undeterred by the dwindling number of attendees, teams didn‘t need the cheer of the crowd to bring their A-game to the plaza. Many were simply happy to be given the chance to face an opponent and play. Referee Adam Fitzpatrick says the competition was fierce.
“Players are players and they’re out here to compete everyday, so whether they’re competing in practice or competing here, they’re bringing a high level” said Fitzpatrick.
Each team was guaranteed three poll play games throughout the three-day weekend, and more games were earned if teams advanced to the finals. For many players, winning came at a price.
“I want to win so I got two yellow cards…so I might have pushed a couple of people over but it’s ok, they’re ok” said midfielder for Black Hills Rapids 07 Girls, Emma Hargens.
Different clubs from Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska and different parts of South Dakota took part in the weekends’ tournament. While some played against teams in their bracket, others experienced a cross bracket competition.