Connellsville youth soccer team competing for world title
A Connellsville 3v3 girls soccer team traveled to Disney World in January 2010 and competed for the World Championship. They played teams from all over the world and won the title with an undefeated record.
They were recognized in the Daily Courier and they received citations from Sen. Richard Kasunic and Rep. Debra Kula. Now, those same champions are setting their sights on achieving that goal again. The U-13 Shallenberger Construction-sponsored team members are Bailey Cartwright, Morgan Green, Kenzie Grenell, Anna Demarco, Shannon Salley and Riley Watt.
“These girls have a heart for soccer, pure talent and such dedication and commitment to the game and their teammates,” parent Holly Green said.
The girls have continued competing in 3v3 Kick It soccer over the past three years, winning locally and regionally to qualify for the World Championships again. They have decided, with the continued support from their coach, Bryan Cartwright, and their parents, Mark and Marlene Grenell, Tom and Holly Salley, Matthew and Holly Green, Jim and Lorri Demarco, John and Ricki Watt and Bryan and Barbie Cartwright, that they want to make the trip to Disney World again with the goal of winning another world title, this time in the U-13 bracket.
“These girls have been together participating in Kick It for five years,” Bryan Cartwright said. “They swept the championships at Disney with a record of 11-0-0. They were only the second team from Pennsylvania to ever win the world championship. We decided to keep competing but wanted to take a couple years off from the world championships.
“This year the team placed second in the Pittsburgh tournament (7-1-0) after going undefeated there in the past four years to qualify for regionals. The girls placed first at regionals with a record of 7-0-0 to qualify for the world championships. The team has an overall record of 82-3-0 in Kick It 3v3. We are very appreciative of the Shallenberger Construction sponsorship this year.”
Team chemistry has been a key ingredient for the group.
“The girls have been playing together since they were 7 years old,” Marlene Grenell said. “3v3 is a quick game. It's great for their foot skills in the offseason. We owe a lot to Bryan (Cartwright). He has worked with these children since they were four and five years old. All of his time is volunteer.”
In addition to looking for sponsors to appear on their practice and warm-up T-shirts, the group will hold a spaghetti dinner fundraiser from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 16 upstairs at the South Connellsville Fire Hall. Dinner will include spaghetti, meatballs, salad, roll, dessert and drink (eat in or take out). The cost is $7 for adults and $5 for children 12 and younger. The proceeds will benefit this U-13 girls Kick It team as well as the boys U-10 Kick It team. They invite everyone to attend to help them raise money for their upcoming trip.
Those who are unable to attend but would like to offer financial support or T-shirt sponsorship can mail a donation made out to KB Photo Parents Soccer Association / Bryan Cartwright, 125 Snyder St, Connellsville, PA 15425.
The Disney Kick It 3v3 World Championships are broadcast on ESPN 2 and Disney Radio.
Nancy Henry is a freelance writer.