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Gonzaga edges GDS to win inaugural soccer invitational
(Published September 8, 2003)

Special to The Common Denominator

The first annual John W. Warring Jr. Invitational Soccer Tournament was deemed a stellar success by coaches and players. The inaugural tournament, played at Wilson Senior High School in Northwest Washington, featured six of the top teams in the entire metro area.

The tournament was the "brainchild" of Wilson Athletic Director Eddie Saah and was played Sept. 5-6, without a hitch in the weather.

"I talked to John Warring III back in April. We both agreed this would be a superb way to start the high school soccer season. I faxed letters to five other schools, and they all committed to playing in this inaugural tournament," Saah said.

(John Warring III, despite being a Carroll alumnus, has underwritten a number of charitable athletic endeavors at Woodrow Wilson H.S. in the past few years. Warring said he hopes the tournament, named in his father’s memory, will become an annual event.)

The six teams represented a total of four conferences: Wilson from the DCIAA (D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association), Gonzaga and St. Johns from the WCAC (Washington Catholic Athletic Conference), Georgetown Day and Sidwell Friends from the MAC (Mid-Atlantic Conference) and St. Albans from the IAC (Interstate Athletic Conference).

"I wanted to get six very competitive teams from the Northwest D.C. area, and that is exactly what we got. These respective teams can play with anyone in D.C., Virginia or Maryland," Saah said.

Each of the six teams played one game Sept. 5 and two games Sept. 6 in basically a "round-robin" format. In the end, Gonzaga edged out Georgetown Day for the championship trophy.
The Eagles, coached by Don Smith and Jeff Barnes, finished with a 2-0-1 record, which was good for 10 points.

(Points and standings were contingent upon the number of goals scored in addition to the total number of wins and ties.)

Georgetown Day – coached by Harold Newton, Nooman Kacem, Quinn Killy and Bill Wallace – finished with a 1-0-2 record (two ties), good for nine points, and thus the runner-up trophy.

Wilson – coached by Francis Ryan, Carlos Guerra and Les Guerra – finished with a 1-1-1 record, good for six points, and the third-place trophy. St. Albans – coached by Kevin McShane, Hart Roper, Wells Wulsin and Norman Constantine – also finished with a 1-1-1 record, good for six points. Wilson edged out St. Albans for the third-place trophy, despite identical records, because the Tigers scored a total of four goals, whereas the Bulldogs scored a total of two goals).

St. Johns, coached by Steve Craig and Eric Ferguson, finished with a 1-2-0 record, good for three points. Sidwell Friends, coached by Ken Henry and Jorgen Kjaer, finished with a 0-2-1 record, good for one point.

"It was a very successful tournament. There was good competition. The kids had a good time. The soccer moms and dads found it to be enjoyable," said Warring.

There were too many excellent players to name them all, but Gonzaga was led by seniors Ian Handerhan, Andres McCalister, Ramon Lopez, Chris Baer, Joe McDonald, Sean Fay, Peter McMurray and Taofik Kolade. Kolade was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

Gonzaga won the 2002 WCAC soccer championship last fall.

Gonzaga Coach Don Smith said the tournament "gave us a chance to find out what we can do. It will help us with the chemistry on this team."

Eagle midfielder McAlister called the tournament "a great way to start
off the season."

"We got a chance to play against a lot of teams that we normally don’t get a chance to play against," he said.

Gonzaga scored seven goals in the tournament with Kolade scoring two, while McDonald and juniors Dillon Collins, Danny McLaughlin, Pat Kane and sophomore Jose Kassar each scored one.

Georgetown Day was led by seniors Alex Liebowitz, Brandon Jenkins, Jon Huddleston, Cyrus Kharas, Sam Post, Matt Rogan, Steve Wallace and Teddy Berlin.

"The teams here were very athletic – it helped us to ‘quicken’ our game," said Georgetown Day Head Coach Harold Newton. "We proved ourselves pretty well. It was good to play against these types of aggressive

Georgetown Day scored five goals in the tournament. Kharas and junior Dan Miller each scored two and Wallace scored one.

Wilson was led by seniors Jose Yanez, Gabriel Baker, Sam Levy, Brian Haskell, Josh Hoffman, Steve Sanchez, David Rosenbaum, Nick Johnson, David Aneiva and Josh Scall.

"Our team played quite well," said Wilson Head Coach Francis Ryan. "In addition, from a financial
point of view, [hosting the event] also helped the Wilson athletic program."

Rosenbaum said the Tigers "developed a lot during these three games. In terms of my individual skills, I worked on releasing the ball quickly."

Rosenbaum scored three goals in the tournament, while junior Juele Lawrence had the other Wilson goal.

St. Albans was led by seniors Conor Shaw, Dan Zevnik, Daniel Newland, Asa Palley, Paul Lauerman, McLean Copus, Matt Paisener and Max Warren. Zevnik and junior Ben Young scored one goal each.

The St. Johns cadets were led by seniors Sean Quinn, Mark Camardese, Edwin Pena, Brian Jones, Alex Carias, Cyrus Albertson and David Hidalgo.

Sidwell Friends was led by seniors Andrew Hastings-Black, Dino Adelfio, Chris Sloan, James Ulwick and Spencer Allen. Allen scored the Quakers’
lone goal.

Attending the two-day event were not only players, parents and school administrators, but also friends and family members of the late John W. Warring Jr., a Bell Vocational School graduate who died in August 2002 at age 68.

Copyright 2003, The Common Denominator