Manchester University
Oak Leaves

April 29, 2016

Tournament Benefits Men’s Soccer Team, 'Play for Jake' Foundation

Carly Kwiecien

The shining sun and cool breeze set the tone for a beautiful afternoon on the soccer field on Sunday, April 24. The Three-V-Three Soccer Tournament was open to anyone ages 15 and up to compete for the title of Three-V-Three Soccer Tournament champions.

The tournament hosted 12 teams that consisted of high schoolers, current Manchester University students, alumni and parents. Each team paid a $75 entry fee to participate, which helps to fund the men’s soccer team’s Jamaica Work Camp trip that they take every four years. The tournament helped the team raise just short of $1,000.

 “This [was] a great opportunity for us to raise funds and allow others to compete on campus in a fun and competitive environment,” said Corey Brueggeman, men’s soccer head coach.

The games consisted of 12-minute halves. This bracket-styled tournament lasted for over four hours. 

Students from Professor Ryan Hedstrom’s Event Management class were busy serving burgers, hot dogs, cookies, drinks and more at the concession stands. They also sold T-shirts and scarves and collected donations for the Play for Jake Foundation, an organization that was created in honor of LaPorte High School football player Jake West. West died at football practice in 2013 due to an undetected heart condition.

The money raised will provide middle school and high school students with heart screenings to help prevent sudden cardiac arrest.

Sophomore Macy Bischoff heard about Jake and the foundation on Facebook and introduced it to her class when deciding what organization should be this year’s recipient.

“I saw the article [about Jake West] and when I read it, it really just hit home,” Bischoff said. “I was a football manager for my high school at the time and my stepdad just had surgery to fix the same issue that Jake had with his heart. My senior year of high school, I raised $1,300 for the foundation and wanted to keep promoting it to help save other lives.”

Freshman Josh McCoy participated with his brother, cousin, father and two friends. He enjoys playing soccer, but he also enjoys helping others.

“It felt amazing doing the thing I love while benefiting others, especially when I know for certain that it's for a good cause. The Play for Jake Foundation and the team trip to Jamaica are both very important to many people,” McCoy said. “I know that the Play for Jake Foundation will certainly save lives, and the team trip to Jamaica helps people who are truly in need. I was glad to be a part of these fundraisers, and the help they will provide, no matter how small my impact may have been.”

The men’s soccer team also contributed their time to the tournament. They kept track of the scores for each game, acted as referees and ran after the balls when they were kicked out of bounds.

“I think the best thing about the tournament was watching people from different areas and of all different ages playing the sport that I love on a day with beautiful weather,” said sophomore soccer player Michael Cheesman. “The field was perfect and the temperature was about 70 degrees––it was almost picturesque. I just loved spending a day with my teammates, who are like family to me, watching people play the sport we love with the smell of burgers cooking in the air. It was also cool because we had people who were as young as 15 and people who were in their 40s playing together.”

The team named “Soccer Without Borders” with captains Carson McFadden, a Manchester alumnus, and Julio Luevano, a current senior, won the tournament.

The team “Manchester University Futbol Fanatics,” which consisted of senior James Tarner, sophomores Ethan Foster, Aaron Lloyd and Austyn Rybicki, and first-years Storm Shortt and Pongsaran Sintananukul, won the award for “Most Spirited” team of the tournament.

“Playing in the tournament was a blast,” Foster said. “Our team received the Most Spirited award, which is fitting. We have a great group of guys who were just out there to have some fun. We knew we wouldn't be one of the better teams there, so we just looked to get some enjoyment out of the day and donate some money to the cause.”