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South Jersey Soccer:
Vineland Is Gearing Up For Memorial Day Tournament

Tuesday, May 16, 2000

By Jerry Amari
SJSports Special Correspondent

The Vineland Soccer Association is gearing up for its 12th Annual Memorial Day Tournament on May 27, 28, and 29, 2000. Over 135 traveling soccer teams from across New Jersey, Pennsylvannia, Delaware, Maryland and New York will be converging on Vineland, NJ for this event. Things are really happening around the Vineland Soccer Complex located at Spring Rd. and Maple Ave.

Automatic irrigation is now in place on two of our 8 full sized fields at the complex. This is a big improvement over our old moving system. Slowly the entire complex hopes to be hooked up to in ground irrigation. "The overall conditions of our fields is excellent. Returning teams (to our tournament) will notice the work our volunteers have done in the past year." says Tournament Director Mike Jones. "Ground was broken the first weekend after the 1999 tournament for in-ground irrigation lines." The fields with irrigation were levelled and reseeded. VSA President John Gregor says, "Fields #1 and #8 are top notch soccer fields, I'd match them against any fields in the Greater South Jersey area." Besides the 8 full sized fields at the complex, Vineland Soccer will have 3 small-sized fields for the Tournament. That's 11 fields in one location!

Also new to the Vineland Soccer Complex is lighting on Field #1. Volunteer Tom Tobolski likes to call Field #1 our "Field of Dreams." VSA has been trying to secure tournament lighting at the Complex for several years. This year, with help from the City of Vineland Recreation Department, City Council, and Mayor's office, the work got done for the 12th Annual Memorial Day Tournament. The way the light towers are designed, hopefully there should be playing lights on Field #2 for next year's Tournament. Mr. Jones was quoted as saying, "Having night games at our Tournament is only one benefit of the new lighting. Now, our club teams will be able to practice after daylight saving time takes effect. It will truely extend the local soccer playing season."

Most local hotels/motels are booked to capacity for the holiday weekend. One out-of-state team had to reserve rooms over 20 miles away due to the rush for rooms in Cumberland County. With the addition of two new motels (over 200 new rooms) in Vineland, scheduled to open later in the year 2000, VSA feels getting a room in town should be easy.

Finally, in a more somber note, the Vineland Soccer Association will be dediciating a granite monument in honor of one of our players, the late Aaron Ploch on Saturday morning May 27th. Aaron was taken from us by a virus that attacked his vital organs. He passed away in September of 1999. He played on Vineland's U-11 travel team, the Tigersharks. The short ceremony will take place at 8 AM before the Tigersharks' first game of the 12th Annual Memorial Day Tournament.

That's all for now. Questions? Need directions to our tournament? Call Jerry at 856-696-8635 or email at:

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