First night game kicks off annual Spring Classic

Friday, May 16, 2003

After 16 teams withdrew due to lack of hotel space, the three-day Spring Classic will consist of 73 teams. Because of a scheduling conflict with spring graduation at Southeast Missouri State University, hotels filled quickly this weekend, Kaplan said.

Kaplan, the tournament director for six years, said nearly 4,000 players and parents will come to Cape Girardeau for the tournament.

"For a spring tournament that's a pretty good number," Kaplan said. "In fact, it's the highest spring number I've had."

Teams from across the state will enter in age divisions ranging from first grade to high school. The tournament will have games from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on all 12 fields Saturday, with championship games wrapping up Sunday.

The majority of the field will be Missouri teams with several from Illinois as well. There will be eight teams from De Soto, a town heavily damaged by tornadoes last week, also competing.

"They wanted to get away," Kaplan said.

Trophies will be awarded to players on first- and second-place teams, and in some circumstances third place depending on the number of teams registered per age division.

jjoffray@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 171

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