It won’t do to not mention how games turn out, so let’s make note of the Wallingford Strikers U12 girls soccer team, which on Monday bested Brazil CT Yellow to win the championship. On the boys side, the U12 Division 2 WYSL (otherwise known as Wallingford Youth Soccer League) Tigers came up just short to Trumbull United.
That said, there were 97 teams in 19 divisions playing upon 14 field over three days of the 35th annual TWIST, an acronym that gives a lot of opportunity for headlines, as in, say, “let’s TWIST like we did last summer.”
It stands for The Wallingford Invitational Soccer Tournament – and it is the longest running youth soccer tournament in Connecticut. It’s become successful enough to draw competition. Imitation, as they say, is a form of flattery.
It’s fun for kids who like to play soccer, and for parents and others who like to watch them, but it is also, significantly, a showcase for the town of Wallingford. People around these parts know of the benefits of the town, TWIST gives those from all over the opportunity to learn the same.
“One of the things we pride ourselves in is the town of Wallingford,” said Mary Carol “M.C.” Bradley, who has worked with the tournament since her children became involved 11 years ago. “People who come are very impressed with the area, the kids and the downtown area,” she said.
Another major plus: TWIST’s co-director, Dave Rodriguez, told the Record-Journal the tournament has awarded about $190,000 in scholarships to former players, volunteers and others involved with the tournament throughout the years. The scholarships focus on high school seniors from Wallingford.
All sorts of benefits, and it’s also a lot of fun. That’s a hard combination to beat. Let’s do it again next summer.