Micro-6 Soccer Tournament is memorial to Joan Kelly | SierraSun.com

Micro-6 Soccer Tournament is memorial to Joan Kelly

Matt BrownSierra Sun sports editor

Josh Miller/Sierra SunThe Truckee High School girls soccer team practiced at Riverview Park in Truckee on Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 11).

Before Joan Kelly died in a tragic accident a few years ago, she was recognized in the Truckee community as an avid supporter of the Truckee High School soccer program.Joan Kelly was the mother of three boys who have grown up here, said Molly Stuart, who has volunteered to bring the once annual (1995-2000) Micro-6 Soccer Tournament back to Truckee. One is still in high school; hell be a sophomore this year. The other two graduated; they all played soccer.After a four-year absence, Stuart has brought the tournament back as a fund-raiser for the high school girls soccer program, but also as a memorial to Kelly and her family that survives her.Her husband, Kit, was very involved in coaching AYSO (American Youth Soccer Organization), and Joan was very involved with soccer, said Stuart, standing on the grass of Riverview Park in Truckee. So this little field over here is also dedicated to Joan.At that same field, on Saturday, August 14, members of the Truckee High School girls soccer team and other volunteers will referee and host the tournament. Stuart said the reason they stopped running the tournament is simple.Its a lot of work, she smiles. Its a bit of a stretch to try to organize something in the middle of summer.Luckily for the girls soccer program, Stuart has succeeded. Stuart is projecting that there will be 16 to 20 teams (5 or 6 players per team at $15 each), and she will still take registrations up until later this evening (see details below). Stuart said they may need more than eight Riverview fields to host the amount of teams.What makes a Micro-6 format different is that the parameters are more simplified. The dimensions of the field are smaller than usual, the number of players are less (no goalie), and goals are scored by rolling the ball over a 3 by 4 piece of plywood. There is also a designated area around the plywood that players are not allowed to enter.Besides the memorial to Kelly and the obvious goal of raising money, there is one more reason Stuart took it upon herself to bring the tournament back.My kids did this in 1999 and 2000 when they were younger, and it was really a great way for younger kids in the community to interface with the high school (players and program), she said. Its a great way to build connections, so theres sort of a double emphasis.As far as the players are concerned, they know they need as much help as they can get in the funding department. With both the boys and girls soccer programs having a good chance to make the state championship tournament every season, there have been problems in the past with funding the postseason trips.Were going to (Las) Vegas hopefully this year for state, said senior Camille Gannam, so we would need to get a charter bus. Its expensive. We were broke last year, so our parents had to fork out. Were trying to fix that. The difference between this year and last, however, is that last year the state championships were in Reno. This year, as Gannam pointed out, the team would have to travel to Las Vegas if it qualifies for postseason action.On Wednesday afternoon, Gannam and junior Melissa Kleffman stood on the Riverview Park fields waiting for practice to start. Gannam and Kleffman brought the overall importance of the tournament back to Kelly, though.These are her fields, so thats part of it too, said Kleffman.