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New Millennium soccer league continues Sunday By DEAN SIEMON As Jeremiah Escobar watched the tournament finals of the New Millennium league’s indoor championship, where Olympia defeated Morelina (Aberdeen) 7-2, he knew that the league has grown since its beginnings in Shelton. “Sometimes we have six teams, sometimes eight teams,” Escobar said. “The outdoor tournament starting this Sunday will have 20 teams.” The New Millennium soccer league will start its 10th season. It started with four teams in 2000. “It use to be just Shelton teams,” Escobar said. “On the way we have collected teams from Belfair, Aberdeen and Olympia. I feel, if you work hard on something, growing is what you want to see.” The upcoming tournament that fields 20 teams will start this Sunday and continue until June. The teams will play once a week to earn three points for a win and one point for a tie to qualify for a playoff berth. The top eight teams with the most points will be placed into Division A and will compete in a tournament-style bracket for the overall championship. The next eight teams will be qualified for a consolation division. “The point is to have everyone play,” Escobar said.

Games will be played at three locations every Sunday, including Loop Field in Shelton and Griffin Park at Steamboat Island. Games will also be played in Lacey. In addition to the 10th season, Escobar has arranged a Champion of Champions tournament that will begin in May. Six former champions will compete in a four-week tournament. “Any team that has been a past champion is able to play,” Escobar said. “Those are the best teams in my league.” The teams will face each other twice, with the top four playing in semifinals matches before a championship match is scheduled. Two Shelton teams will be playing – Caughtepe and Colmena. Both teams are three-time champions and have earned second place twice since the league started. “There is some real good soccer in Shelton,” Escobar said. “They have been competing against all those teams really well.” Former champion, Real Salome from Belfair, will also compete. As the league has grown, Escobar does not want to forget the people and groups that have helped the league since its origin. “I want to thank all those who have sponsored my teams,” Escobar said.

Photo provided

Athletic Olympia, the New Millennium soccer league indoor tournament champions were crowned on Sunday at The Evergreen State College. Top row (left to right): Jeremiah Escobar, Arlison Lima, Jesus Naua, Gimo Mtz, Luciano Santana, Martin Juarez. Bottom row (left to right): Juan Gomez, Jose Llamas, Cesar Trejo, Santiago Hoez. Not shown: Carlos Guzman.

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Journal photo by Dean Siemon

Shelton senior Thomas Blueback practices bench press during a weightlifting class at Shelton High School to prepare for the upcoming competition on Saturday.

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Blueback said. Even athletes from other sports have used the powerlifting program, including senior SHS football player C.D. Hinkle, who said that the lifting program helps football players overall. “I want to get younger football players into this to get them in shape,” Hinkle said.

“It keeps them strong and develops their strength and keeps them competitive,” Martinson said. “But it gives them a reason to come in and work.” With the team’s next event this Saturday at Co-

lumbia High School, the powerlifters are focused on improving their overall numbers and competing within themselves. “We just want to keep a steady improvement,” Martinson said.

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Thursday, March 4, 2010 - Shelton-Mason County Journal - Page C-3

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