Crimson Tide Affects Jefferson City
JEFFERSON CITY -The number one football team in the country came to Columbia Saturday, October 13th, yet their affect would reach much father than just Columbia. Hotels were booked for nearly a 70-mile radius around Columbia. For Jefferson City, which is nearly 30 miles away, which would cause a big problem.
For nearly 20 years the Jefferson City Jays soccer team has held their annual Art Firley Shootout. The tournament hosts some of the best teams in the state and even the nation. This year would proven to be no different.
Except this year's tournament was scheduled for the weekend of October 12th. The same weekend Alabama would come to Columbia. Jefferson City soccer coach Eddie Horn didn't realize he would have to consider cancelling the tournament.
"I had no idea that as soon as Mizzou football released their schedule that we would not be able to find hotel rooms in a 75 mile radius to house the teams for our shootout" Coach Horn said.
Horn brainstormed with other coaches invited to the shootout and came up with one way to still be able to host the highly competitive tournament.
"We are having some teams stay at the Rickman Center here in Jefferson City. The kids will actually be staying in cabins. There's 12 kids to a cabin" Coach Horn said.
There was no television. No internet. No video games. Yet the teams found a way to manage. Senior centerback for Kickapoo Chase Grubb said, "Maybe this will kind of help us out this weekend because we are not staying in the pristine hotels or whatever. We are kind of staying out in the wilderness and ya, it should be fun!"
Grubb and his teammates certainly made the best of the experience and took it as an opportunity to bond with their team. In fact, within 15 minutes of their stay the team took a nature walk and found a team pet. A turtle.
In the future the shootout will have to prepare for traveling SEC fans. However, for this year, a select few soccer teams such as Kickapoo were given one memorable tournament weekend.