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State wrestling, playoff hockey, swimming, volleyball, first Soccer Festival on deck

HUNTSVILLE – Wrestlers from around Alabama will hit the mats this week to begin a quest for state championships at the Von Braun Center, while the Southeastern Swimming Short Course Championships will launch at the Huntsville Aquatics Center.

Those two events launch a packed sports schedule in the Rocket City over the next several days that is expected to generate more than $6.5 million for the local economy. In addition to wrestling and swimming, soccer, volleyball and hockey events will also unfold at local venues featuring high school, college, professional and club athletes.

The weekend brings the first Huntsville City Soccer Festival, highlighted by the Huntsville City FC Blastoff Battle Invitational at Wicks Family Field at Joe Davis Stadium, which includes UAH against the host “Boys in Blue’’ on Friday night.

“We’re looking forward to a busy Presidents Day weekend,” HSC Executive Director Mark Russell said. “I want to thank our sports tourism team. There’s so many people involved this weekend. I want to thank (Parks and Recreation Director) James Gossett and Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Joel Lamp.”

The City of Huntsville, Huntsville Sports Commission and the Huntsville-Madison County Convention & and Visitors Bureau joined to sponsor the Soccer Festival.

“When we first had the vision of building this right here for professional soccer, we were talking about the vision of it being inclusive and going all the way down to the youth sports all the way through the high school sports, to the college sports, and all the way up through the professional sports and make this really what we call a soccer town,” Mayor Tommy Battle said. “This is one of those events that’s gonna do that. So we’ll have a weekend of soccer and more than that, we’ll be able to spread the idea that soccer is for everybody.”

Russell said coaches Babayele Sodade of Huntsville High School and Mike Parker of Bob Jones played key organizing roles.

Among the other events happening this week is the College Hockey South DII playoffs and the UAH Chargers club hockey team returning to postseason play.

We’re expecting highly competitive and close games,” said CHS Commissioner Kyle Knell said. “Year after year, teams are becoming more and more competitive making for even more exciting tournaments. This year could truly be a toss-up on who takes home the trophy.”

This week’s schedule

Thursday:

  • AHSAA State Wrestling Tournament Von Braun Center (Von Braun Center, Propst Arena)
  • Southeastern Swimming Short Course Championships (Huntsville Aquatics Center)

Friday:

  • Huntsville City FC Blastoff Battle Invitational (Wicks Family Field at Joe Davis Stadium)
  • Falcon Fest Invitational (Merrimack Soccer Complex turf fields)
  • Soccer Fest High School Invitational (Loretta P. Spencer Sports Complex, John Hunt Park)
  • College Hockey South DII Playoffs (Huntsville Ice Sports Center)
  • AHSAA State Wrestling Tournament 
  • Southeastern Swimming Short Course Championships 

Saturday:

  • NASA Volleyball Bash (VBC South Hall)
  • Huntsville Soccer Fest Youth Tournament (Merrimack Soccer Complex)
  • College Hockey South DII Playoffs AHSAA State Wrestling Tournament 
  • Southeastern Swimming Short Course Championships 

Sunday:

  • Huntsville City FC Blastoff Battle Invitational
  • Southeastern Swimming Short Course Championships
  • Soccer Fest Youth Tournament 
  • College Hockey South DII Playoffs

For more information and full schedules for additional upcoming events, visit www.huntsvillesports.org, www.huntsvilleal.gov, www.hsvchamber.org, or www.mlsnextpro.com/huntsvillecityfc/

 

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