BOONE — The competition in the King of the Mountain soccer tournament is improving, according to tournament director Ben Birdsong.
A total of 65 teams from North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee descended on Watauga County to participate in the soccer tournament that included 11 brackets, six boys’ brackets and five girls’ brackets.
“This year in particular we saw an increase in parity between the divisions,” Birdsong said. “There was just really good competition, which is something we really like to see. We felt that it was probably the best year we’ve had in a long time in terms of close games.”
Four Watauga teams reached the finals including the Under-14 Hgh Country Soccer Association United girls’ team, which beat NCFC WF United Red 2-0.
The HCSA Avalanche Navy won the Under 11 Boys Navy bracket with a 6-0 win over the Tysc Rovers. The HCSA Avalanche Red beat the MYSA Storm 6-2 in the Under-12 Boys Navy bracket.
The HCSA United Under-13 boys’ team reached the finals of its bracket but lost to TESC Red 6-1.
“We had a total of 11 of our teams playing in the tournament,” Birdsong said. “Having four of them make it to the finals is a better than average year. Our tournament has really good quality competition. Typically it’s a better than average tournament.”
Around 50 volunteers helped stage the King of the Mountain. The High Country Soccer Association, the host of the tournament, will stage the fourth annual Appalachian Classic Aug. 24-25.
“We’re hoping for a good turnout for that as well,” Birdsong said.