Make us your home page

February is busy for Hernando soccer tournaments

SPRING HILL — Late winter and early spring are typically prime months for youth soccer tournaments in Central Florida. Such events are winners for host communities because they bring in an influx of hundreds of athletes and their families, who stay in hotels, eat at restaurants and shop in local stores.

Throughout the rest of February, Hernando County will be enjoying the perks of a soccer tournament trifecta that organizers say will bring more than 90 girls teams to the Anderson Snow Park soccer complex.

George Angeliadis, president of the First Hernando Youth Soccer League, which is acting as host, said the tournaments mark the first time in about four years that Hernando has hosted Florida Youth Soccer Association region cup events.

In addition to this weekend's FYSA Region C under-13 girls competitive soccer tournament, the complex will play host to the Florida Coast Futbol Club's girls "Sunshine Cup" recreational soccer semifinals Feb. 16 and 17 as well as the finals on Feb. 23.

"We're excited about it," Angeliadis said. "A lot of money and work has gone into getting the fields ready. We want to make a good impression on the teams that are going to be playing."

Angeliadis said his organization spent nearly $90,000 recently to re-sod the complex's six soccer fields. In addition, the league put $20,000 into improvements to the concession stand and other structures.

The success of attracting such high-profile state tournaments is the result of a concerted effort begun two years ago by a sports marketing coalition made up of representatives from the county Parks and Recreation Department, the Hernando Tourism Development Council, the Brooksville Parks and Recreation Department and members from several local youth sports groups.

Brooksville Parks and Recreation Director Mike Walker said that Hernando County is rapidly gaining a reputation as a youth sports destination, despite government budget-slashing that a couple of years ago almost closed some parks.

"Tournament directors say they like our facilities and that they're easy to travel to," Walker said. "I think our chances of attracting more statewide baseball, softball and soccer tournaments is going to grow as time goes along."

Attracting out-of-town athletes and their families is the name of the game, said Ruby Turner, marketing director for the Tourism Development Council.

"They generate a lot of hotel and restaurant business," Turner said. "And if it's a girls sporting event it's even better because the whole family usually comes along with them."

Angeliadis said that First Hernando Youth Soccer is in the process of bidding to hold other soccer tournaments later in the year and is set to sponsor its first 5k fundraiser run April 14.

"We've learned that it takes a lot of time, energy and money to make a facility competitive enough to attract big tournaments," Angeliadis said. "I don't see a reason why we can't host at least a couple of tournaments every year."

Logan Neill can be reached at or (352) 848-1435.

. If you go

Soccer tournament

The Florida Youth Soccer Association's Region C under-13 girls competitive soccer tournament will be Saturday and Sunday at the Anderson Snow Park soccer complex, 1360 Anderson Snow Road, Spring Hill. Spectator admission is


February is busy for Hernando soccer tournaments 02/07/13 [Last modified: Thursday, February 7, 2013 8:12pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Memorial Day sales not enough to draw shoppers to Tampa Bay malls


    TAMPA — Memorial Day sales at Tampa Bay area malls were not enough to compete with the beach and backyard barbecues this holiday weekend.

    Memorial Day sales weren't enough to draw shoppers to Tampa Bay area malls over the long weekend. 
  2. Austin software company acquires second Tampa business


    Austin, Tex.-based Asure Software acquired Tampa's Compass HRM Inc. late last week for $6 million. Compass focuses on HR and payroll.

    [Company photo]
  3. Hackers hide cyberattacks in social media posts


    SAN FRANCISCO — It took only one attempt for Russian hackers to make their way into the computer of a Pentagon official. But the attack didn't come through an email or a file buried within a seemingly innocuous document.

    Jay Kaplan and Mark Kuhr, former NSA employees and co-founders of Synack, a cybersecurity company, in their office in Palo Alto, Calif., in 2013. While last year's hacking of senior Democratic Party officials raised awareness of the damage caused if just a handful of employees click on the wrong emails, few people realize that a message on Twitter or Facebook could give an attacker similar access to their system. 
[New York Times file photo]
  4. Big rents and changing tastes drive dives off St. Pete's 600 block

    Music & Concerts

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kendra Marolf was behind the lobby bar of the State Theatre, pouring vodka sodas for a weeknight crowd packed tight for Bishop Briggs, the latest alternative artist to sell out her club.

    Sam Picciano, 25, left, of Tampa and Molly Cord 24, Palm Harbor shop for record albums for a friend at Daddy Kool Records located on the 600 block of Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, Florida on Saturday, May 20, 2017. OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times
  5. How Hollywood is giving its biggest stars digital facelifts


    LOS ANGELES — Johnny Depp is 53 years old but he doesn't look a day over 26 in the new "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie — at least for a few moments. There was no plastic surgeon involved, heavy makeup or archival footage used to take the actor back to his boyish "Cry Baby" face, however. It's all …

    This combination of photos released by Disney, shows the character Jack Sparrow at two stages of his life in "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales."  Johnny Depp, who portrays the character, is the latest mega-star to get the drastic de-aging treatment on screen
[Disney via Associated Press]