WEST CARTHAGE — A total of eight local youths will compete at the district level of the Elks Soccer Shoot in September.
In an address to the crowd on the final day of the shoot Aug. 13, organizer Sean McHale said, “One of the nice things about the Elks is that we sponsor youth activities, that’s what this is about. It’s a great thing and it compliments AYSO.”
McHale organizes the event — in which children under the age of 14 attempt to kick soccer balls into a goal — with his wife, Barbara, and several volunteers.
Competitors heading to district competition include Luke Doldo in the Under 8 Boys division with 32 points, Brendan McKenna in the U10 Boys with 29 points, Sitotaw “Toto” Sanderson in the U12 Boys with 22 points, Brendan Duffy in the U14 Boys with 45 points, Danielle Douglas in the U8 Girls with 35 points, Bayley Duffy in the U8 Girls with 36 points, Bridgid Duffy in the U12 Girls with 24 points and Claire Odett in the U14 Girls with 42 points.
In order to be eligible, the children had to have the top score in their age group at the local level, sponsored by Carthage Elks Lodge 1762. The tournament was held over two days, Aug. 12 and 13. The first round was held in conjunction with AYSO at West Carthage Elementary. A total of 57 children participated this year. The lower than usual number was attributed to poor weather during the preliminary rounds.
The district competition will be held in Lowville, although a date and time are currently unavailable.
Although most participants were likely too young to be thinking about college, McHale reminded the group, “We do have Elks scholarships ... You could end up receiving — if you qualify — $4,000 a year. We give out $26,000 annually from that fund.”
Elks scholarship recipient Claire Sauter, who will attend St. John Fisher College, Rochester, volunteered with the event.
TOP FINALISTS RECOGNIZED
The top five finalists were called back for the final round that Wednesday. In the U8 Boys, other finalists include Liam Escudero, Malachi Brandt, Aaron Sanderson and Brandon Brown.
Other finalists in the U8 Girls include Delaney Anderson, Kira Covey, Alyssa Ramas and Kady Duffy.
Other finalists in the U10 Boys include Noah Odett, Sebastian Carvajal, Finnley Wagner and Neeraj Sanderson.
Other finalists in the U10 Girls include Hannah Makuch, Hailey Ramos, Klaira Moser and Gabby Akins.
Other finalists in the U12 Boys include Lincoln Escudero, Bereketh Sanderson and Landon Denby.
Other finalists in the U12 Girls include Delaney Escudero, Jayden Brown, Jadyn Childers and Madison Brotherton.
Other finalists in the U14 Boys include Austin Hamilton, Joey Johnston and Jason Uhlinger.
Other finalists in the U14 Girls include Megan Beyor and Bridgette Handle.