Men’s Preseason Soccer Faces Change of Location

Anna Kinasewitz | Staff Writer

Mason Men’s Soccer is no stranger to change. Last season, they experienced a shift in leadership by welcoming new head coach, Mike Combs, who follows former head coach Paul Reedy’s jaw-dropping 11 seasons. The men adjusted to change, and likewise both the players and parents are now facing a smaller change.

The change the tournament faces this summer? A new location. Due to the temporary closing of the City of Mason’s Heritage Oak Park, the tournament has had to be relocated. This has proved challenging since the park provides numerous fields, abundant parking, and the ability to condense the tournament to one area. This summer the tournament has been moved to a few fields at Corwin Nixon Park and two of Mason High School’s athletic facility fields.

The Mason Preseason Classic is a tradition going back many summers which offers the chance for coaches and players to prepare for the upcoming season against other high school teams. Mark Heckler, President of the Mason Soccer Boosters, puts on the tournament with the help of many dedicated parents.

“We start planning the tournament about a year in advance with monthly meetings,” Heckler said. “As the tournament approaches the committee meets weekly to go over all the details and hundreds of hours are put in throughout the year to make the event a success.”

To adapt to the change, Heckler said that extra planning has been put in place this year.

“It has been a challenge with moving to a new venue because everything is a little different than the year before,” Heckler said. “From parking to tents to concessions, we have had to rethink everything we did in the past years but our volunteers have stepped up.”

Heckler doesn’t foresee the change affecting the important tournament in a negative way.

“It’s a large fundraiser for our Booster Organization and it’s also an opportunity for Mason soccer families to work together to help the program,” Heckler said. “Hosting the tournament at Corwin Nixon and the High School has given us the ability to offer two turf fields which we have not done in the past. Overall, I think this year will work out great.”

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Photos by Mia Sweitzer.