The Hough boys' soccer team plans on playing in a lot of big games this season after advancing all the way to the 4A state semifinals last year in their inaugural campaign.
On Saturday, the Huskies will host one the biggest events of the year when Hough holds the Cookies for Kids Cancer Invitational, to support pediatric cancer research.
While the most important part will be raising money for cancer research, the event also pits eight of the best boys' soccer teams in the state.
No. 5 (4A) Ardrey Kell kicks off the event against T.C. Roberson at 3:30, followed by Mallard Creek and Mount Tabor at 4:45 p.m., and then No. 2 (4A) Myers Park takes on No. 4 (3A) Marvin Ridge at 6:30 p.m. The nightcap appears to be the best matchup on paper as No. 9 and host Hough entertains No. 3 Charlotte Catholic.
"Our main goal was to make it a great event, with quality local teams that also draw a lot of fans," said Hough soccer coach David Smith, who also plans to hold a similar benefit with the Hough girls' soccer team in the spring. "We definitely want to see some great soccer, but we also want to raise as much money as we can for cancer research."
Tickets are $7 per person. For information on the benefit, visit cookiesforcancer.org.
Lake Norman's boys' soccer team is also off to a strong start (4-1-2) despite playing one of the toughest early schedules in the state. Coach Jon Mertes and company lost to No. 5 Ardrey Kell and tied No. 3 South Meck and No. 15 Providence so far this season.
Many of the top boys' and girls' soccer players in the Charlotte area have played for Coach Philip Poole at some point in their careers.
Poole, 29, grew up in the Newcastle United Soccer club, which is in the English Premier League, before playing soccer at Wingate University. Heplayed goalkeeper for Hull City.
Poole has become one of the most accomplished coaches in the country, coaching nearly every age group and talent level in youth soccer. Poole is the executive director of the Lake Norman Soccer Club, but he will also coach at the highest level this fall.
Poole has accepted the invitation to be an assistant coach on the Puerto Rican National team for at least the next six games in the Concacaf qualifying section for the World Cup.