The June 30 weekend marked the 35th anniversary of the annual North Olmsted Soccer Organization (NOSO) Cup Tournament. The international tournament is for U8 through U19 boys’ and girls’ teams, and offers competitive play in between the spring and fall soccer seasons.
The tournament originated in 1977 as a result of North Olmsted varsity boys’ soccer assistant coach Peter Terry’s desire to put North Olmsted on the map. With help from Tom Hatfield, head coach at the time, the NOSO Cup Tournament was one of the first tournaments in the Midwest, and has had teams participate from as far away as Florida, Texas, the United Kingdom, Germany and Canada.
“We’ve made a lot of friends all over the country,” said Hatfield. “It makes us happy to see people so anxious to come back, since they are so far away.”
The two-day tournament was broken into two divisions for each age group, cup and trophy. Teams were placed into each division depending on their level of play and were all guaranteed three games. Games were held on various fields throughout North Olmsted, North Ridgeville and Westlake, but the main headquarters was at the Barton Bradley fields in North Olmsted.
Tournament directors John Loftus and Jennifer McGuire have been working with approximately 30 volunteers since last November to make the biggest Cup Tournament, with 162 registered teams, successful. With 15 teams from Canada and 13 from New York alone, the tournament sold out the Radisson Hotel and utilized the La Quinta Inn & Suites and Courtyard by Marriott in North Olmsted.
“The tournament helps the local economy and brings in a lot of money to the city,” said Loftus. “We have a lot to offer for the out-of-town teams, and we have found that many of these teams love to go to Huntington Beach.”
At the Barton Bradley and North Olmsted Park fields, vendors set up booths for both food and exhibitions. Moe’s Southwest Grill, Donato’s Pizza and Dippin’ Dots fed hungry players and spectators, while Party Time Photobooths and Frontline Soccer Shop promoted their businesses.
For 24 years Hatfield directed the tournament and hopes the tournament will continue to grow and succeed in the years to come.
“We want to keep alive this tradition (of the tournament) for as long as we can,” said Hatfield.