BOONE — On May 18-19, approximately 70 teams coming from four different states will make their way to the annual soccer tournament King of the Mountain, hosted by Boone-based High Country Soccer Association.
The tournament, which began in 2009, will be spread across fields at the Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex, Watauga High School and new tournament venue Valle Crucis Park.
In an independent study done by Appalachian State University’s Department of Economics, HCSA’s two summer tournaments, King of the Mountain in May and the Appalachian Classic in August, together generate a total boost of around $955,000 to the local economy.
“A lot of people only know of HCSA as a soccer club that serves the local youth, but when we host these tournaments, we also bring more than 5,500 out-of-town visitors during two weekends,” Rick Suyao, HCSA executive director,said in a statement. “The great thing about youth travel soccer is it’s usually a family affair, so the whole family of each player usually comes together and makes a mini-vacation of it on tournament weekends.”
High Country Soccer Association, which formed in 1986, offers soccer training to youth with ages ranging from under-6 to under-18 and competes in the North Carolina Youth Soccer Association. HCSA also operates winter futsal youth training and the local adult leagues.
In all, HCSA has more than 600 youth players and more than 300 adult players from five different counties.
“During our tournaments, we partner with local restaurants and hotels to help provide group or discounted rates that benefit everyone,” Suyao said. “But we’re always looking to improve our tournaments, and, they can be even bigger. In the past, we’ve had to turn away teams because of a lack of field space and hotels. We’re always looking at potential space to convert into soccer fields.”