Beaufort Cup soccer tournament returns; Six area high schools participating

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High School Soccer

Beaufort Cup soccer tournament returns; Six area high schools participating

By MIKE McCOMBS
mmccombs@islandpacket.com
Published Friday, February 22, 2013   |  682 Words  |  

Hilton Head Island High School head boys soccer coach Wayne Quinlan isn't sure the last time there was a Beaufort Cup, though he thinks it may have been in the late 1980s.

It doesn't really matter. All that matters is there is one starting Friday night and running through Sunday, and Quinlan found himself Thursday "running around like a chicken with its head cut off," trying to sew up any last-minute loose ends.

The area high school soccer season will kick off this weekend with the rebirth of the Cup. Six local teams will descend on Hilton Head High for the Beaufort County championship of boys soccer.

"I had hoped to get all public and private schools in the county to participate," Quinlan said. "But Prep and Hilton Head Christian have numbers issues coming off basketball season, and they're still missing some athletes for soccer season.

"Maybe in the future, they'll be able to work it out."

Battery Creek, Beaufort Academy and Whale Branch will compete in one bracket while Beaufort High, Bluffton and Hilton Head High will be in the other.

Quinlan was confident the tournament will be a success.

"From a coach's standpoint, we stand to gain either way, win or lose," Quinlan said. "We stand to learn about our players. You can scrimmage all you want. But sooner or later, you've got to turn on the lights and see what you've got in a real game.

"From a tournament director's standpoint, the question you ask is, 'Are all the teams given a reasonable chance to have some success on the field?' Because, let's face it, nobody's ready at this point in the season. The goal is that all the teams have a chance to have some success in the tournament."

The tournament should be interesting right from the start. The first two games are intriguing for different reasons.

In the first game, set for 5:30 p.m. Friday, Whale Branch will make its boys soccer debut when it faces Beaufort Academy. In the 8 p.m. nightcap, Quinlan's Seahawks will face rival Bluffton.

That's if the teams actually play. Quinlan spent much of Thursday fretting over the weekend forecast, which indicates rain may be in play.

But one way or another, Quinlan said, they'll get the games in this weekend.

"I really hope that the community and the student bodies and the fans will come out and support this tournament," said Quinlan, who led the Seahawks to the Class 3-A state championship game last season. "There's good soccer in Beaufort County. We're worth coming to see, as a whole, and I hope the fans will come out and take the tournament in."

THE BEAUFORT CUP

Friday-Sunday, at Hilton Head Island High School

Admission: $5 daily

Brackets

Group I: Whale Branch, Beaufort Academy, Battery Creek

Group II: Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, Beaufort

Friday's games

Beaufort Academy vs. Whale Branch, 5:30 p.m.

Bluffton vs. Hilton Head Island, 8 p.m.

Saturday's Games

Battery Creek vs. Beaufort Academy, 11 a.m.

Beaufort High vs. Bluffton, 1 p.m.

Battery Creek vs. Whale Branch, 5 p.m.

Beaufort High vs. Hilton Head Island, 7 p.m.

Sunday's Games

5th place: Group I No. 3 vs. Group II No. 3, 1 p.m.

3rd place: Group I No. 2 vs. Group II No. 2, 3 p.m.

Championship: Group I No. 1 vs. Group II No. 1, 5 p.m.