Island Classic a success

Thursday night Dec. 4, Wildcat Memorial Stadium was the scene for some “old school” soccer action.

The Island Classic, as it has come to be known, is a meeting of South Whidbey’s over-40 men’s team and a representation of Oak Harbor’s over-40 soccer community.

Also known as the North versus South game, it was created to mitigate idleness during the period between seasons. The South Whidbey team’s four Oak Harbor members fleshed out a roster of Oak Harbor players to challenge their teammates from the south in a friendly match designed to get back to playing form prior to regular season play in the Snohomish County Adult Soccer Association league, and perhaps pickup some new players along the way.

The soccer pitch featured a cross section of Whidbey Island’s staunchest soccer supporters, including youth soccer leaders and coaches from the island’s three youth soccer clubs, and members of South Whidbey High School’s soccer coaching staff.

The match also served as a means to build confidence in the local young adult referees officiating the match under the watchful eyes of the adult referees. Doctors, accountants, correctional custody officers and Naval aviators from NAS Whidbey Island, to name a few, were also represented in this hodgepodge of blazing gray.

The event drew a sizable crowd, with the fans consisting of family members willing to endure the chilly night, and numerous youth, anxious to see if “Coach” really practices what he preaches.

The South utilized its team cohesiveness and experience, outscoring Oak Harbor 2-0 for their second consecutive win in this series. Previous encounters resulted in only one win for Oak Harbor, and two ties.

Post-game activities, including a replay of the game caught on video, were held at Flyer’s Restaurant and Brewery in Oak Harbor where the glory and agony of the match were relived on the big screen TVs.

Flyer’s sponsored the event by footing the bill for field usage and lighting at the stadium.

Goals were praised, calls were argued, styles were commented on, bloopers were immortalized and the many close scoring opportunities by the North were lamented. But everyone in attendance agreed, this was the place to be on a chilly Thursday night. In addition, everyone looked forward to the Seventh Island Classic next year.

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