The Plymouth Reign 99 Green U12 boys soccer team won the championship at the Petoskey 2010 Autumn Blast Tournament in Petoskey Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 11 and 12.
It was the Reign's second championship and fourth final round appearance in four tournaments under Coach Worteh Sampson.
Saturday morning was cold and overcast with rain in the forecast. By game time, the rain had started in earnest.
Having to face an always-tough Birmingham United team in the rain seemed to inspire the boys. Two early PK’s put United back on its heels and it never recovered, falling 4-0 to the Reign.
The rain tapered off to an occasional drizzle by the time Saturday's second game against Varder Northern Michigan started. The Reign conquered Vardar, 7-0.
On Sunday, due to a quirk in the bracketing, the Reign 99 Green team had to play the Reign 99 White team for each team’s semifinal game.
To make things even more complicated, both teams are coached by Worteh Sampson. To avoid appearing to favor one team over the other, Sampson decided not to coach either team. Instead Plymouth Reign coaches Vahid Assadpour and Sara Schafer coached the Green and White Teams, respectively, while Sampson nervously watched from the sidelines.
After a shaky start, probably caused by too much hot sauce consumed at the team dinner Saturday night, the Green team settled down, played its passing game and led 2-0 at the half.
Scoring a quick goal after the game resumed, the Green Team never looked back and defeated the White, 6-0, to advance to the championship round.
The Reign edged the Michigan Impact Gold, 3-2, in the finals.