PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB)– Soccer Youth Futbol Club is hosting its first All-American Series of the summer at the Panama City Beach Sports Complex.
“I think they’ve done a great job of overcoming it and getting people out as a community and back out playing ball,” said All-American Series and Bay United Soccer Club coach Jonathan Rhodes.
More than 200 athletes from all over the country were invited to participate after a nomination process. Out of those 210, a third of the players were from Bay and Walton Counties.
Players participating were put on all-star teams and were divided up based on their age.
“We actually have a lot of locals on our team, to be honest, a lot of kids from PCB from Florida generally from Tampa. I just met a kid from Tampa, but we also have kids from Virginia, Maryland,” said All-American Series and Bay County soccer player Quintin Hotop.
The local athletes participating this weekend are showing there are several great soccer players from the area.
“We’re a bit of a hidden gem us ourselves at Bay United, we’ve put over 100 kids in college over the years it just shows you how much talent we’ve got in this area,” Rhodes said.
Athletes said they are learning a lot from playing a different style of soccer with unfamiliar faces. Hotop said players from other states bring a unique style of play to the game.
“Definitely play the game a little differently. They’re very high intensity you can tell they’re not really used to the heat down here. It’s very different, but they’re holding their own,” Hotop said.
Athletes 7-years-old to 17-years-old are participating in the series. Poll play will continue through Saturday. Bracket play will be held on Sunday with championship games on Sunday afternoon.