WEST ORANGE, NJ — There is still time to register for the first-annual "Over the Hill" Soccer Tournament/Fundraiser on Aug. 28, hosted by the Mountain Top League (MTL) at O'Conner Park in West Orange. The event is open to anyone over the age of 25 and is intended as a fundraiser for MTL in order to make the growing program more affordable for participating children.
This event gives local children the unique opportunity to yell at their parents or guardians during the game, which MTL trustees Jeremy Evans, Chris McCree and Terry Warren say is traditionally the other way around in a young athlete’s experience.
The “recreational-play-only” games for $25 per person will be self-refereed, with four-to-six players per team, and will ultimately help support the MTL’s commitment to youth sports in West Orange and surrounding areas.
“[Mountain Top] is one of the biggest programs around and one of the best programs around and we need to make sure that it’s around for our kids, and for our kids’ kids,” said Evans. “It teaches a lot of life lessons like how to be a part of a team and good sportsmanship and we don’t want that to go away. We have to make sure that level of quality is around for generations.”
According to Evans, parents in town want to be able to afford to out their kids into the program. However, without drastically increasing the fees, the MTL trustees cannot successfully run the program to its fullest potential—and so, a new tradition was born.
“This will help fund the whole organization, which has multiple sports across multiple ages,” said Evans. “It’s a huge undertaking and we need to stay open for the town because it’s a big outlet for the kids. We want to make sure it’s available for years to come.”
MTL in West Orange was founded in 1959 and the current trustees are determined to keep it going. In addition to the original Mountain Top Soccer program, other MTL programs also include travel soccer, baseball, hockey and the recent addition of fall softball for girls.
Evans encourages anyone over the age of 25, even if he or she is out of practice or has never played before, to participate on Aug. 28. The ultimate goal is to potentially the fundraiser an annual event the people look forward to in the future.
“This is really supposed to be a relaxed tournament,” said Evans. “It’s not super competitive—it’s all about having fun, getting out there and meeting people in the community. And getting the kids out there to cheer the adults on for a change.”
To sign up for the first-annual "Over the Hill" Soccer Tournament/Fundraiser, click HERE www.mountaintopleague.com or email MTLsoccer@gmail.com. Participants can create their own teams or sign up to be randomly placed.
Girls Softball Fall League Tryouts begin tomorrow, Aug. 27, at Kelly Elementary School.
The 15th Annual Essex Fall Tune-Up Soccer Tournament for West Orange & Livingston will be held from Sept. 9-11.