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Tournament to collect food,

ROUSES POINT - When 15-year-old Brandon Hurlburt was told he was too old to continue playing on the Bantam Soccer Team, it set in motion plans to have the first ever Bantam Cougar Classic.

After the soccer season had already begun for bantam age kids, ages 11-13, the Clinton County Youth Bureau rechecked all players' birthdays to make sure they were all of the correct age.

"They accidentally found out that [Hurlburt] was six months over," explained Tricia Guay, coach for the Rouses Point-Champlain Bantam Soccer Team. "[CCYB] called and said that Brandon could no longer play on the team."

However, Hurlburt had been playing and practicing alongside his teammates since August, and they were disappointed to find out he wouldn't be on the team any longer.

"The team said that they wanted to play with him one more time," explained Guay. "So, in order for him to play we had to do it non-youth."

The plan Guay and her team came up with was the Bantam Cougar Classic, where local bantam teams will "play for the community."

Guay explained the team decided they wanted to have a tournament where they could give back to the community, as the community is always giving to them.

The tournament will put local bantam soccer teams against one another, with the winner receiving a trophy, and all other teams receiving a smaller trophy. People may also put together their own team, with players in the bantam age range. However, in order for teams to participate, each player must bring a nonperishable food item to be donated to one of the local food shelves - in Mooers, Rouses Point and Champlain.

Volunteers have also been working together to have a bake sale, local businesses have donated gift certificates which will be raffled off, and there will be a 50-50 drawing. All proceeds will be split amongst the food shelves.

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