The Fourth Annual Holiday Cup, which runs Saturday and Sunday at the Burbank Soccer Complex, has grown into the third-largest tournament in the state.
Sponsored by St. Michael the Archangel, the Holiday Cub features 48 teams and will have girls varsity soccer teams for the first time. Games will be played on Fields 13-22 on the south side of the complex.
“It should be a nice tournament with some really strong teams,” St. Michael boys soccer coach and tournament director Paul Fletcher said. “We started four years ago with 12 teams.
“We’re up from 32 teams last year.”
The field also includes a junior varsity boys division with 14 teams in four groups.
“There are very few junior varsity tournaments and we’ve attracted Dutchtown, East Ascension, Jesuit and Holy Cross,” Fletcher said. “It’s a good field of teams.”
The boys and girls varsity teams are divided into red and black divisions.
The black divisions are considered the toughest. Each team is guaranteed at least three games. The games are shorter than normal 80-minute varsity games, and feature 25-minute halves.
“Tournaments like this are built for teams with rosters that are not real deep,” Fletcher said. “The shorter games are more of a sprint. If you score first, you can almost tuck it in and play defense.”
West Feliciana, The Dunham School and Broadmoor are the teams in Group A of the boys red division. They play teams from Group B (Central, Plaquemine and Walker). Group C plays a round robin. Lutcher, Live Oak, Hannan and Catholic High of Pointe Coupee are the Group C teams.
Central, Lutcher and Live Oak are the teams to watch.
Beau Chene, Lusher, Grace King, Zachary and Episcopal are the teams to watch in the boys black division. Beau Chene, Episcopal, Helen Cox and Grace King are the teams in Group A. Lusher, Catholic of New Iberia, Zachary and East St. John are in Group B.
Lutcher, Episcopal, Dutchtown and St. Amant are the teams to watch in the girls black division. Episcopal (5-1) was the Division III state runner-up last season and is ranked fourth in Division III. Barbe, Catholic of New Iberia and Lutcher are the teams in Group A. Episcopal, St. Amant and Dutchtown are the teams in Group B.
Following round-robin play, one winner from each group advances to the final in the girls red division. Central, Catholic of Pointe Coupee, Opelousas Catholic and East St. John are in Group A. Beau Chene, Bolton, Helen Cox and St. Michael are in Group B. Fletcher said Central and St. Michael are the favorites to advance.
Games start at 8 a.m. Saturday and noon Sunday.
The junior varsity boys semifinals are set for 2:30 p.m. The varsity boys semifinals are set for 3:30 p.m.. The boys junior varsity final and girls final are set for 4:30 p.m. The boys varsity final is set for 5:45 p.m., with the black division on Field 21 and the red division on Field 22.
“Tournaments are a huge way for teams to find out what they’ve got,” Fletcher said. “Some teams are working in players from other sports. It’s a time to try different formations and players in different spots before district play starts.”
A point system is used to determine which teams advance. Six points is awarded for a win, three points for a tie, one point for each goal scored (up to three goals), and one point for a shutout. In the semifinals and finals, if a game is tied at the end of regulation it goes straight to a penalty kick shootout.